Bread bowls aren’t just for clam chowder, they’re too happy-looking to just be for clam chowder, or any chowder for that matter. In formulating a series of dips for the Food Republic Test Kitchen, I decided to transform a beloved appetizer, stuffed mushrooms. Taking the mushrooms off the heat as soon as they release their liquid will keep the shroomy flavor intact, and frying shallots in bacon fat for a little texture and added bacon flavor is just a good idea.
If you accidentally tear through the loaf while hollowing, don’t fret. Just stuff a chunk of bread in the hole and you’ll be fine — bread’s a very forgiving medium.
- 6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 10 ounces mushrooms of your choice (we used Baby Bellas and white buttons), diced
- 3 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 2/3 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 16-ounce container sour cream
- 3 tablespoons cream cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 round loaf sourdough bread
- Fry the bacon in a heavy skillet until crisp, then set aside, allow to cool and crumble.
- Fry the shallots in the bacon fat until dark brown and crisp, 8-10 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a layer of paper towels.
- Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in the remaining fat (or you can add a little olive oil to the pan) just until they release their liquid, then stir in the chopped parsley and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine the sour cream, cream cheese and crumbled bacon, then fold in the mushroom mixture and fried shallots.
- Slice off the top of the sourdough loaf, then hollow it out by pinching pieces of bread out of the inside. Reserve the bread for serving with the dip, or for stuffing or some other use.
- Transfer the dip to the bread bowl and serve with crackers, crudité or torn-out bread chunks.
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