It goes without saying that I love all the big feasts around the holidays -- the multi-course Christmas Eve extravaganza at my Uncle's; Christmas Dinner itself, anchored by the once-a-year showcasing of my mother-in-law's port-marinated filet; our own family-of-four's annual fancy feast with the kids, complete with fussy finger foods like gougeres. But arguably my most favorite excuse to get around the table is a meal that for whatever reason can fly under-the-radar -- the post-gift-opening brunch. This year, I'm not going to be the short-order scrambled egg and pancake elf that I usually am. I'm going to have a few of these tarts made ahead of time, so all I need to remember to do when I wake up on Christmas morning is cover them with foil and heat in a 300°F oven for 25 minutes. Perfect.
- 1 store-bought pie crust, pressed into a 9-inch tart dish
- 3⁄4 cup milk
- 3⁄4 cup half-and-half or heavy cream
- 3 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 5 links Applegate Natural Classic Pork Breakfast Sausage or Natural Chicken and Sage Breakfast Sausage, thawed
- 1⁄2 small onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 5-6 leaves, lacinato/Tuscan kale (the flat kind), stems trimmed, and chopped into bite-size pieces (about 1 cup packed)
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Prick the bottom of your pie crust all over with a fork and bake it for 8 minutes.
- While it’s baking, in a large bowl whisk together the milk, half-and-half, eggs, salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, in a medium skillet over medium heat, brown sausages 5 to 6 minutes, tossing frequently until cooked through. Remove from the pan, allow to cool, then roughly chop.
- In the same pan, sauté the onions in olive oil with red pepper flakes for 6 minutes until golden. Add kale, more salt and pepper to taste, and cook until kale is slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Remove onions and kale from pan and let cool completely.
- Fold in the kale-onion mixture and sausage pieces to the eggs.
- Carefully pour egg mixture into the pre-cooked tart shell, gently distributing kale and sausage bits evenly around the tart with a fork. Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano all over top.
- Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top hasn’t turned an appealing golden brown, broil for a minute at the very end, watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t burn.
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