Chef Lindsay Autry Shares Southern Classics with a Mediterranean Twist

VIDEO PRODUCED BY NATHAN MIKITA

On this episode of Foodable’s Smart Kitchen and Bar, Chef Lindsay Autry gives us a taste of her fall menu while discussing her farm-to-table restaurant, fall flavor inspiration, and even her childhood with our host, Paul Barron.

Chef Autry’s cooking journey started at a young age. Her family owned a peach orchard, and she began competing in food competitions, hosted by the 4-H youth organization, around age 9. They lived an authentic farm-to-table lifestyle, which means that for her, farm-to-table was a way of life.

“For us, that was the way it was. You got up, and you learned how to raise the [animals], so you learned the appreciation of it, and then you said goodbye to them and moved on,” says Chef Lindsay.

Now, as the executive chef of The Regional Kitchen and Public House in West Palm Beach, FL, she brings that farm-to-table experience through her restaurant and her dishes.

“We’re called The Regional because we’re embedded in our community. We support local businesses not only with farms and purveyors but also the woodworkers that build our booths, the lighting, and everything else. I like to call it The American Kitchen,” says Autry.

Although the restaurant is located in sunny South Florida where it’s summer year-round, it doesn’t discourage Chef Lindsay from creating her fall menu. She wants chefs to be creative and not conform to what a magazine thinks or what people think you should be eating in fall. Her creativity shines beyond the typical fall dish such as butternut squash soup, and she focuses on the flavors she loves. Her menu centers around southern cuisine with a Mediterranean touch to give it more depth of flavor.

Sometimes her menu may get a few head scratches when a patron sees a traditional dish with a unique ingredient. However, Lindsay concentrates on making her cuisine more approachable with easy to understand descriptions. Also, the staff knows how to answer if someone asks the question of, “why did you use this ingredient in this dish?”

“Our staff explains to our customers, ‘the chef grew up cooking with her grandma who’s greek,’ and for whatever reason, that always makes them trust you a little bit more,” says Chef Lindsay.

Watch the video above to learn how to make Chef Autry's fall dishes!

Pickled Shrimp

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound medium pink shrimp; shell-on preferably

  • 3 tbsp. Old Bay seasoning; divided

  • ½ tsp. celery seeds

  • 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 3 lemons; zested and juiced

  • ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • 2 tbsp. fresh dill, picked into small pieces

  • ½ tsp. crushed red chile flakes

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • 12 dried bay leaves

  • ½ medium yellow onion, thinly sliced lengthwise

Directions:

Bring 2 tbsp. of Old Bay seasoning and 8 cups of water to a boil in a 4-qt saucepan. Add shrimp, reduce heat to low, and cook until shrimp are pink (about 2 minutes). Drain and transfer to bowl of ice water to chill. Drain again. Peel and devein the shrimp if using shell-on.

Combine all remaining ingredients, including 1 tbsp. of Old Bay in a mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add the chilled shrimp and toss to mix well.

Store shrimp an liquid in a glass jar and refrigerate overnight or up to 3 days.

Sweet Tea Brined Fried Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 pieces of chicken – your choice on the cut

  • 2 cups buttermilk

  • 2 whole eggs

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour; divided

  • 2 cups wondra flour

  • 2 cups cornstarch

  • 6 cups vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 quart freshly brewed tea

  • Zest of 1 lemon, removed with a vegetable peeler

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt

  • 1 quart ice water

Directions:

Combine the tea, lemon zest, sugar, and salt in a saucepan and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat, add the ice water and cool completely. Submerge the chicken pieces in the liquid, cover, and refrigerate for 24 - 48 hours (a sprig of Rosemary is great to add).

If you don’t have time to brine - season the chicken with salt on all sides and set on paper towels to absorb the moisture while you prepare the other ingredients.

Prepare 3 containers for your breading.

  • 2 cups Plain all-purpose flour

  • Buttermilk and whole eggs whisked until blended

  • Mix of equal parts - AP flour, wondra, and corn starch

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Coat each piece lightly the plain flour and shake off the excess. Dip in the buttermilk and egg batter, and finally in the breader.

Pour the oil into a large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium heat until a pinch of flour sprinkled into the oil immediately bubbles or a deep-frying thermometer registers 325°F. Alternatively, fill a deep fryer and pre-heat to 325°F.

Working in batches, fry the chicken pieces, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the oil temperature. Cook for 5 minutes, flip, and cook for 7 minutes more.

*If using a deep fryer, remove the chicken once it is crispy and floating. Let cool for at least 1 minute and return to fryer for additional 2 minutes (will come out much crispier and ensures the carry-over cooking happens).

The juices should run clear when the thickest part is pierced, and an instant-read thermometer should register 165°F.