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So I had the chance, yesterday, to spend the time with one of my all time favorite girls on this planet and celebrate with her, yet another milestone birthday for me. I won’t go into specifics of my age, but suffice it to say I’m feeling younger everyday. Scratches scalp in disbelief! No seriously! Alright, who am I kidding?! Well, at least I like to think so. At any rate, I emailed my good friend Felicia, asking her if she would like to join me for an impromptu lunch the following afternoon, my birthday, the 26th of November and she promptly replied with yes and with pleasure. Oh, that last part I tossed in for dramatic affect. I still had plenty of uncooked food left in the refrigerator, from Thanks Giving day and just wanted to use it up and make something wonderful with it. So I thought, why not a goat cheese tart, slash quiche. I had plenty of this amazing grass fed goat cheese from the “Cheese Shop” on Bedford Ave and North 4th, and several leek stalks and also, several Brussels sprout heads, pie dough and oh yes, a fresh block of Parmesan cheese. A tart would be the perfect lunch menu along with a fresh organic arugula salad, mixed with some gorgeous lolla rosa lettuce, drizzled with an amazing Aceto balsamic vinegar and Primo olive oil from Sicily. Needless to say, I think that we were both extremely pleased with the menu. It was a great way to celebrate my birthday. She was also kind enough to pick up some amazing little cup cakes, for us from the Cupcake Land, on Metropolitan ave, in Williamsburg BK, along with a single candle. I couldn’t have asked for more. I even received a gift certificate from Whisk. Too much! Okay I think you get the picture. We washed this amazing lunch down with a crisp Sauvignon Blanc, called by of all names, Kato, from New Zealand, after my dog. How funny is that!? The wine was also a surprise gift from my landlady and it too, was absolutely perfect, offering hints of pear and peaches with just the right amount of acidity to compliment our meal. Now on to the recipe.

Ingredients:

4 large eggs

1/2 cup of 1% milk

1/2 cup of cream

1/2 cup fresh goat cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tbs butter

1 tbs olive oil (optional)

kosher salt (to taste)

fresh cracked pepper (to taste)

freshly grated nutmeg

4 medium leek stalks

3 garlic cloves

4-5 Brussels sprouts

1/2 cup rendered pancetta (slightly crisp)

Instructions:

Start by cutting off the green tops of the leeks just above any edible parts of the leeks, discarding any bad parts of the leeks. Slice the leeks lengthwise just above the root all the way to the top end. Rotate the leeks a quarter turn and slice again (repeat) above the root end. Rinse the leeks under running cold water while splitting the leeks open under the running water, to remove any dirt that may have collected in between the layers of the leek stalks. Drain and cut into 1/2 inch slices on a cutting board stopping at the root end of the leeks. Mince 3 to 4 garlic cloves. With a sharp knife or a mandolin, cut thinly the Brussels sprouts, after washing and removing any bad leaves and the woody bottoms. In a large skillet, add the butter and bring to a medium heat, add the leeks and a pinch of salt and a few grinds of fresh cracked pepper and a bit of freshly grated nutmeg. Sautée the leeks and the garlic till they are translucent. Remove and place them into a bowl. Add the 1 tbs of olive oil and the Brussels sprouts and also, season while you sautée. They should be slightly caramelized. Set aside in a separate bowl or combine with the leeks. Cut up the pancetta into small cubes or dice and place into a skillet, using low heat and render the fat out and cook slowly, till the pancetta is slightly caramelized. Don’t over cook! Into a bowl add 4 whole eggs and whisk to break up the yolks. Add the cream and the milk and salt and pepper and a dash of grated nutmeg. Whisk well to combine the ingredients. Into a pie dish or tart flan pan, roll out your dough, and place into the pan. If you are using a quiche flan pan, press the dough into the corners using the back of your fingers. To the dish start adding the ingredients to the bottom of the dough. Start with the goat cheese, then the pancetta, and finally the leeks and Brussels sprouts. Finally, before placing the tart into a 400 degree preheated oven, sprinkle with the grated Parmesan cheese and bake for 30 minutes till golden brown and a crispy crust has formed on the top of the tart. Done! Enjoy this amazing tart with a fresh field salad with your favorite vinaigraitte and a crisp white wine. You won’t be disappointed.

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