50 John Street, Kingston
If summer is for freewheeling culinary experimentation, then fall, with its comparatively sedate disposition, is for comfort food. Duo Bistro in Kingston has been giving the people what they want in the form of eclectic comfort food for about five years now, pulling influences from Northern Italy to South Korea. Brunch is especially celebrated at
Duo Bistro, whose name is a nod to the partnership between owner/chefs Niels Nielsen and Juan Romero, and the following brunch dish is a shared celebration of fall squash and the end of the growing season:
1 pound grated fall squash (pumpkin or butternut work best)
½ cup grated white onion
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup rice flour or all-purpose flour if gluten is not a concern
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg plus 1 yolk, beaten
1 clove minced garlic
16 poached eggs
2 tablespoons soybean, peanut or sunflower oil
Combine squash and onion with salt in a small bowl, allow to marinate for 30 minutes, then squeeze out as much liquid as possible from mixture. Set aside.
In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour and baking powder, and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, combine the egg and egg yolk with the garlic and reserved squash mixture and stir to blend. Add the reserved flour mixture to the squash-egg mixture and stir to incorporate; try not to overmix.
Using your fingers, a tablespoon or a small ice cream scoop, shape the mixture into fritters that are about 3 inches in diameter to allow for poached egg to sit on top.
Film a large cast-iron skillet with inch of soybean, peanut or sunflower oil. Set over medium heat. Add the fritters in a single layer and cook until brown one side, about 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook until brown on the other side, about 3 more minutes. Set on plate or cookie sheet lined with paper towels to absorb excess oil.
Place two fritters on each plate, and top each fritter with a hot and freshly poached egg. Top with Lemon Thyme Dressing (recipe follows) and serve with fresh salad greens and bacon or sausage (if you are a meat eater).
Lemon Thyme Dressing
1 whole egg
Juice and zest of one lemon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
2 teaspoons honey
1 cup soybean or neutral tasting oil
In a food processor, add all ingredients except the oil and process until fully blended, about one minute. (If using a large processor you may have to tilt the machine to ensure that the blades are whipping everything together.)
Add the oil to the processor while it’s running in a slow steady stream. (Using a liquid measuring cup with a pour spout on it will help to regulate a slow and steady stream of oil.) Process until all the oil is incorporated and the mixture thickens and has the texture of mayonnaise, about 1 minute. Store for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.