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    Emily Malone

    culinary arts grad. nutrition facts lover. vegetarian chef. marathon runner. country music maniac. failed dog trainer. barre fanatic. loving mama.

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    A Look Back.



Potato Leek Gratin & Blueberry Rice Pudding.

Lots and lots of fun farm cooking to share with you guys this week.  Yesterday was CSA sample day, and I was challenged with making two new recipes to share with our CSA members.  In case you missed them, here are some of my other CSA sample posts:

This week’s featured ingredients were red potatoes and fresh blueberries – YUM!  My first creation was a Potato and Leek Gratin – believe it or not, my first time baking this type of casserole-type dish.  Because I typically try to cook as healthy as possible, I’m not really used to layering things in cheese and milk and baking them, but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do…

I started with fresh leeks – washed and rinsed to get rid of the sand.

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And a big pile of kennebec potatoes – very similar to Yukon golds.

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I sliced the potatoes and tossed them generously with salt and pepper.  In this type of dish, you only get one shot at seasoning – go big or go home.

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I sautéed the leeks in a bit of olive oil on the stovetop…

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And added a tsp of ground cumin.  It was supposed to be cumin seeds, but I ran out, so I did a mixture of both and hoped that nobody noticed!

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Spiced leeks, softened and ready to go.

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The flavor punch in this recipe comes from the gruyere cheese – one of my favorites.

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I grated 3/4 cup…

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And added half of it to a bowl, along with the leeks and sliced potatoes.

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Then I loaded the entire mixture into a 2 quart baking dish.  It just barely fit!

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Now comes the fun part.  I poured 2 1/3 cups low-fat milk into the mixture, and set it in the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

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After time was up, I pulled the gratin back out to find the potatoes starting to brown and soften.

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Topped the mixture with the rest of the gooey cheese, and put it back into the oven for another 45 minutes.  Good thing I read my recipe ahead of time and started this bad boy nice and early!

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About 2 hours after I started, this bubbling bowl of deliciousness was ready…

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Brown, bubbly cheese.  Sooooo hard to resist!

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This recipe was a BIG HIT!  I can’t say I was surprised though – let’s get real.  Potatoes, milk, cheese… what’s not to like?  The CSA members (and staff members!) gobbled it up – always a good sign of a dish well done.

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But I assure you I did not just wait for potatoes to cook all afternoon.  I also made an amazing Vegan Chinese Black Rice Pudding with Blueberries.  Ohhhh yes.  I was pretty excited when the volunteers came in from the field and dropped off 6 pounds of blueberries in the kitchen.

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If I had to guess, I would estimate a 2 cups in the pudding to 2 cups in my mouth ratio.  :)

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I got started by cooking 1 cup of dry Chinese (Forbidden) black rice.  I am sure that any rice would have worked, but the recipe called for this particular black rice.  It gave a nice color effect, as it turned PURPLE when cooked!

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The rice went in to a simmering pot of 1 cup coconut milk, 1 cup soy milk, and 1/4 cup of honey.

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Stir, stir, stir until it thickens and gets creamy.  As you can see, I took this job very seriously.

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Once it was thick enough, I added the star of the show – blueberries!

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Ten more minutes of stirring and simmering (and salivating)…

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Happy cook!  :)  I feel very lucky to do what I do every day.

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Finally finished, and poured into a bowl to cool before serving.

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Two hours later, cooled down for service.  100% amazing!

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The CSA customers couldn’t get enough of this stuff, and also couldn’t believe that it was vegan!  I think this would be really fun to take to a party.  Definitely one to make again!

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All set up and ready for customers.  Fancy – I know.  :)

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These were two totally different and fun recipes to make.  Now that it’s been a few weeks and I’m getting the hang of it, I find that I really enjoy talking to the members and showing them what their produce is each week.  It is fun to suggest ways for them to use it, and I am much more comfortable and natural talking about cooking and food than I realized.  Guess that culinary arts degree is getting put to good use!

More fun cooking coming up next!  I was BAKING all day long, mmmmmmm…

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24 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Lisa (bakebikeblog)     at 7:39 pm

oh my – I just LOVE leeks and that graton looks fantastic! Comfort food at its best really :)

[Reply]

Nicole     at 7:42 pm

I’ll have to try the gratin, even though I tend to shy away from them due to calorie/fat content. I like leeks, but all I really know to do with them is make potato-leek soup!

I made your vegan black bean burgers tonight, and they smelled AMAZING. I won’t get to eat them until tomorrow as the hubs decided he wanted hot dogs (ick) for dinner instead of the lean beef burger I wanted to make for him.

[Reply]

adrienmelaine     at 8:48 pm

I love that you get to mix up your recipes- even if you like healthy cooking, you still need to be able to please at the holidays! hah

[Reply]

Erin     at 9:16 pm

Yum both of those recipes look amazing!! Did you come up with both of these yourself?!?!? If they were from a recipe book, which ones please :)

[Reply]

Ginna     at 9:39 pm

YUM! I love gruyere cheese! I made a Martha Stewart turkey burger recipe that include gruyere last month for my family and they were delicious!

[Reply]

Kath     at 10:51 pm

Lookin’ hot!!!

And let’s cook together this week! I’ll come over for a workout + dinner (if I’m invited!)

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

You are ALWAYS invited – sounds FUN! :) Hurry home!

[Reply]

Chelsey     at 12:05 am

You can NEVER go wrong with potatoes – especially cheesy ones.

I also am a blueberry fanatic – that looks divine!

[Reply]

emily (too)     at 12:26 am

Do you consider something that contains honey to be vegan? I was under the impression that most vegans don’t but whenever I’ve done a vegan challenge (2weeks, a month, what-have-you) I’ve always kept honey IN-limits. One time I had a vegan stint in college where I did NOT eat honey and by the end of it I found myself wanting to smash beehives because I was so irriated about all the strange and tasty places honey kept showing up :D

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

I don’t personally have any problem with honey, but I know that others do. We usually use agave anyways!

[Reply]

shorty     at 1:39 am

I love your site! I have been reading for a few months now and just love seeing what you are up to! I have looked into our CSA and am excited to get some questions answered and maybe join for the winter veggies. Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful ideas with us.
Shorty

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog Reply:

Thanks Shorty! :)

[Reply]

Stacey @ Tipping the (Kitchen!) Scales     at 5:08 am

Cheesy potatoes = comfort food. Delicious!!

[Reply]

Heather     at 7:45 am

Gruyere cheese and potatoes??? YUM!!

What great food ideas – keep em coming!

[Reply]

Teri [a foodie stays fit]     at 9:47 am

I LOVE black rice but I’ve never cooked with it myself. I think that will have to change very soon…

[Reply]

Melissa @ HerGreenLife     at 11:52 am

I ate blueberries as we were picking them last Saturday. It didn’t seem like I ate that many, but after a couple of hours of picking, I thought I wouldn’t ever be able to eat another blueberry again. Fortunately, I recovered in less than 48 hours :) Now we have 6 gallons of local, no-spray blueberries, frozen and ready to enjoy all year long!

[Reply]

Ana     at 4:32 pm

Wow, the blueberry rice pudding looks awesome!! I have a package of black rice in my pantry, maybe I will use some to make blueberry rice pudding!! Amazing color, love it!
Ana

[Reply]

Emily @ The Front Burner Blog     at 5:30 pm

375 for almost an hour!

[Reply]

Rachel     at 8:39 pm

That black rice pudding looks amazing! Blueberries are the best. I wouldn’t want to serve it to any of my vegan friends as is, though – they all avoid honey, since it’s an animal-derived product.

[Reply]

Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt     at 4:47 pm

I want to make all of this right now! It looks so yummy!

[Reply]

Cheesey Goodness « Learning As I Chop     at 11:31 am

[...] I thought they would be hard to cut and cook and I would inevitably go wrong.  But then I read Emily’s recipe for a potato-and-leek bake, and I knew it was time. Time to conquer the fear. Her bake looked [...]

Paul George     at 3:04 pm

How can the blueberry pudding be vegan with honey in it?

[Reply]

healthy eats recently | verbs and vignettes     at 2:53 pm

[...] last week was rice pudding. black rice breakfast pudding. i think i found out about black rice from emily, and she actually used it to make a pudding. it tastes a lot like brown rice, but it’s fun [...]

healthy eats recently     at 8:49 pm

[...] last week was rice pudding. black rice breakfast pudding. i think i found out about black rice from emily, and she actually used it to make a pudding. it tastes a lot like brown rice, but it’s fun [...]

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