FOFF Bread Bowl Cheese Fondue and Irish Stout Stew

by Joanne on January 19, 2012

This weeks Fusion of Food and Friends  by Carla Vavala is a cheese fondue in a bread bowl.   PLUS…Peggy made the  “Irish “Good Craic” Stout Stew”, found on page 26 of Carla’s book and contributed by Alfie Falcitelli.  EXCITING!

The Bread Bowl:

A great party recipe so get your fondue forks ready.


I picked up a delicious looking round loaf from the bakery, not taking notice that it wasn’t Italian bread but a Portuguese style round bread.


It was so soft and so good, but probably too much so for this recipe.  It proved difficult to cut clean due to it’s super soft texture.  Even though the bread was wrong, the entire recipe was outrageously tasty.  My changes are listed below.

Bread Bowl Cheese Fondue

  • 1 large loaf Italian round bread
  • 2 1/2 TBS olive oil, separated
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 lb. corned beef cut into strips then cubed *I used dark red kidney beans instead of meat
  • 8 oz. crème fraiche (I used lite sour cream)
  • 1/4 lb. gruyere cheese, small cubes
  • 1 cup Havarti dill cheese, small cubes
  • 6 oz. Baby spinach
  • pepper to taste
  • *May want some crackers for dipping

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Slice off the top 1/4 of the bread.  Hollow out the bottom leaving about 1/4 inch around (don’t cut through).

Cube the top and the interior of the bread and put into a medium bowl.

Add 2 TBS olive oil to the cubed bread, toss to coat then turn onto a baking sheet and toast in the center oven for about 15 minutes at 350 F.

Heat the remaining oil in a large pan over med-high heat then reduce heat to medium low.

Add the onion and cook about 3 minutes but don’t brown.  Stir in corned beef (or beans) and crème fraiche or sour cream. Simmer 5 minutes.

Add cheese and stir until cheese melts. Stir in spinach and pepper.

Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes. Spoon into the bread bowl and serve with the toasted bread cubes and crackers.



The flavor combination was wonderful.  The only thing I didn’t like was that the dip wasn’t smooth and easy to pick up with the bread.

I think if you use the beef, you may not have that problem.

It’s a very good recipe and one recommended for fun with friends.



Irish Stout Stew

  • Olive oil
  • 1 lb. cubed lamb or beef
  • 1 can Stout (preferably an Irish dry stout) or a beer
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 2 large potatoes, cubed
  • 1 can sweet peas
  • 1 handful of fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • pinch or two of salt and pepper
  • 1 cup red wine (if using stout)

Heat oil in a pot and brown cubed meat.  Stout works well with lamb and Beer works well with beef.

*It takes a while to cook off the bitter taste of stout, so take your time in the simmering process for best results.

Once meat is brown, add the rest of the ingredients and cover with water, about an inch over the stew.

Bring water to a boil and reduce heat to a low simmer.  If using stout, cook about 3 hours.  If using beer, about an hour to simmer.

Stir occasionally.

Make to sure visit Peggy’s site to see how this stew turned out and what she used.  It looks SO GOOD!  Thanks Peggy! Open-mouthed smileThumbs up

Next week: Baked Crab Dip *Don’t like crab?  Get some cooked chicken and follow the recipe substituting chicken.

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  • At 2012.01.19 08:43, Lori said:

    I love cheese anything! That fondue almost looks like it would be good straight up in a bowl as a soup!

    • At 2012.01.19 13:25, Steph @ StephSnacks said:

      I pretty much love anything in a bread bowl but it’s super dangerous for me because I feel like I could eat the whole thing!

      • At 2012.01.21 10:11, Monet said:

        This is like heaven to me. Really. Bread and cheese and stew? I’m floating! Thanks for sharing such a savory and delicious recipe. I needed inspiration for tonight. I want to make a version of this now.

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