Chocolate Bread Bruschetta inspired by The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe

I am relieved to say that my sinus infection is almost gone and my sense of taste and smell have finally come back. To celebrate, I fulfilled my month long fantasy of walking into The Blue Duck Bakery Café in Riverhead to smell pastry and taste warm loaves of bread coming out of the oven.

This family-owned bakery is operated by the Kouris Family, who first opened its doors in Southampton, New York in 1999. The bakery quickly gained popularity and recognition for its artisan breads, which are created by hand in the centuries-old tradition of European bakers. Their breads can be found at farmers markets throughout the East End of Long Island and select retailers and restaurants. In 2008, the Kouris family opened a second location in Southold, New York and in December of 2012 opened its third location in Riverhead, New York.

My eyes feasted on the variety of artisan breads. To name a few; New York Sour Rye, Pain Provence, Pane Pugliese, Ciabatta, Pane All' Olive, Landbrot Mit Sauerkraut and a beautiful chocolate bread that I had to have. This bread was a welcome back party for my taste buds and I had grand plans for what I was to make out of this chocolate loaf.

I noticed they had dinner rolls and thought the whole grain and olive roll would be a perfect snack for my car ride home — forget dinner.

dinnerrolls.jpg

As I munched gleefully all by my lonesome with my dinner rolls, (you might as well call them "car rolls" as I do not see how anyone can get home without eating a few of these along the way) I was thinking about the chocolate bread sitting on the passenger seat and whether or not I should chomp on that too. 

Thankfully, I restrained myself because I made a chocolate bread bruschetta dessert that is insanely delicious. The Blue Duck Bakery Café satisfied my month long fantasy and I am so happy they are now in Riverhead as they are only 10 minutes from our upcoming home Sheridan Green which is about 2 "car rolls" away.

Chocolate Bread Bruschetta 

ingredients

  • 8 ounces Mascarpone
  • 2 tablespoons of local honey
  • Bunch of raspberries
  • 3 ounces of good Dark chocolate, shaved
  • The Blue Duck Bakery Café chocolate bread
  •  
    note: Check here to see if you can get The Blue Duck Bakery Café chocolate bread. If you cannot get this exact bread, your local baker may have something similar.

    directions

    1. Mix one container, 8 ounces of the Mascarpone cheese with the honey until smooth. 
    2. Cut the chocolate bread to your desired shape, about 1/4 thick. I cut 2 x 2 squares.
    3. Place the cut bread onto a baking sheet and lightly toast in the oven at 350° or place in a small toaster over for 3 minutes. Be sure the bread does not burn. Bread should be lightly toasted and warm.
    4. Once bread slices are lightly toasted place a dollop of the Mascarpone cheese on top of the bread and then the Raspberries. With a microplane shave dark chocolate on top.
    note: One loaf of chocolate bread should yield 24 - 30, 2 x 2 x 1/4 inch pieces.

    Making Sense of Meatloaf

    For two weeks now I have been fighting the worst cold that has led to a sinus infection causing my most coveted senses, taste and smell, to go dormant. During this time my father came back from the sunny Florida Keys to begin the electrical work on our upcoming home Sheridan Green. How nice of him considering we have been hit with some nasty weather on the East End of Long Island, not to mention a daughter who has been producing enough mucous to be used as mortar for our fireplace construction. When cooking, I have been trudging along relying on my husband Chris and my sixth sense to guide the way. Thankfully, I made a few meals previous to my fathers visit before becoming sick; freezing pasta e fagioli, tomato soup, ricotta gnocchi and French onion soup.

    I took on the challenge of making one of my father's favorite meals, meatloaf. It was the least I could do since he flew back from paradise to the cold and his mucous producing daughter. How was I going to make sense of this Cook’s Country inspired recipe? My senses were shot. I began cooking dinner before Chris and my father returned home from working on our house. Upon their arrival my father said, “Whatever you are making smells absolutely delicious.” Imagine a foodie like me making a meatloaf of beef and pork, wrapping it in bacon and not being able to taste or smell it. As my father took a bite of the meatloaf, he closed his eyes [my father always closes his eyes when critiquing food] he said, “Not bad. I'm not fond of the bbq glaze, and maybe would have added some carrots to it, but pretty good for someone who cannot taste or smell.” He seemed happy and I was simply miserable. I knew the texture was right on, and had no idea what it tasted like. 

    I have been fantasizing about walking into a bakery, smelling fresh pastry and warm loaves of bread coming out of the oven. As soon as I get better I will be running to The Blue Duck Bakery Cafe in Riverhead to take a deep breath and a long taste. In the meantime, I hope you can make sense of this meatloaf recipe.

    Meatloaf wrapped in bacon

    Directions

    1. Mix the glaze ingredients; set aside. 
    2. Heat oven to 350°. In a medium skillet heat the olive oil then  add the onion and garlic. and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool while preparing remaining ingredients.
    3. Mix eggs with thyme, salt, pepper, mustard, Worcestershire sauce,  and hot pepper sauce.
    4. Crush the Saltines and puree with the milk.
    5. Add the egg and saltine mixture to the meat in large bowl with the parsley, and cooked onion and garlic. Mix with a fork until evenly blended. Do not over mix the meat fold it gently.
    6. Turn meat mixture onto a baking sheet and shape into a loaf approximately 8-by-4.
    7. Brush with the glaze, then arrange bacon slices, crosswise, over loaf, overlapping slightly and tucking bacon tip ends under loaf.
    8. Bake loaf until bacon is crisp and loaf registers 160°, about 1 hour. Cool at least 20 minutes before cutting.

    Ingredients

  • 1 pound 85% ground beef chuck 
  • 1 pound ground pork 
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, minced 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme 
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt 
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 
  • 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup Saltine crackers, crushed
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley leaves 
  • 8 slices of bacon
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil 

    for glaze
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
  • Note: You can replace the Saltine crackers with stale bread and eliminate the glaze if you desire.