Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Trisha's Cheese Boat

 Doing some holiday entertaining? Or just a movie night with friends? Here's the perfect thing to serve! It's REALLY simple to make and it's a total do-ahead. You just mix together all of the ingredients ahead of time, and then about a half hour before your guests arrive, scoop the mixture into a hollowed loaf of bread and bake. BOOM! Instant party! A, it smells amazing while it's baking. B, it looks impressive. And C, your guests will devour it! Works for me! When I saw Trisha Yearwood making it on her show, she was making it for friends for a poker night. My first thought was ooo Holiday Party! It would also be perfect for a Super Bowl party! (I hear people have them sometimes.)
 So whatever the occasion, give this one a try! I PROMISE it'll be a hit!

1 loaf French or Italian bread
Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
10 ounces sharp Cheddar, grated (about 2 1/2 cups)
6 ounces corned beef, such as Carl Buddig, finely chopped
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
Large corn chips, for serving

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut an oval in the top of the loaf of bread, scooping out the bread in the center and make a "bread boat." Place the bread on a cooking sheet. In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, Cheddar, beef, green onions, tomatoes, bell peppers, hot sauce, and chili powder until fully combined. Spoon the mixture into the hollow center of the bread loaf. Bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling, and serve warm with corn chips.

If you would rather do a bread bowl instead of a bread boat, just use a round loaf of any kind of bread. Sourdough, pumpernickel, all good!
 Don't have a loaf of bread? Just bake the filling in a casserole dish!
Not a fan of corned beef? Use any kind of meat you like! Sliced deli ham, crisped bacon, or for a spicier twist, how about chopped sliced pepperoni? You really can't go wrong!
Instead of corn chips, I used broken soft pretzels as dippers. Use anything you like!
To make it look even more rich and delicious, I melted some shredded Swiss cheese over the top, just to make it even more ooey gooey. Full disclosure, I had originally intended to reserve some of the Cheddar cheese to melt on top, but I inadvertently mixed it all in with the filling. I just happened to have some Swiss, so I figured why not? Turned out great!!

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