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.

Spice Up Your Fall Dishes with World Flavors

Spice Up Your Fall Dishes with World Flavors

The fall season has landed upon us and it is the perfect chance to think of new ways of incorporating world flavors into your menu, at least, according to our industry expert Brian Murphy. “The increased desire for world flavors provide an excellent opportunity to experiment with different spices,” Murphy explains in his latest post.

Truth is this desire is highly driven by millennials who are eager to explore the world through their food. According to the National Restaurant Association’s Top 10 Hot Trends report, “Consumers' sophisticated palates, driven by international travel and access to a wider variety of ethnic cuisines right here at home, inspire chefs to immerse themselves in food from around the world” fueling the ethnic food trend.

This does not mean you have to stick to traditional ethnic dishes. It’s OK to experiment. Guests seem to be more open-minded and are ready to try different depths of flavors and your take on worldly dishes.

So, spice up your food offerings!

Read More

Fall Flavors That Are Sure to Keep Guests Engaged Through the Winter

Fall Flavors That Are Sure to Keep Guests Engaged Through the Winter

The weather shifts again and guests will soon be clamoring for all things autumn.

Higher octane and fuller-flavored brews paired with bold-flavored dishes that keep the menu offerings clean and satisfying, should round out seasonal menu changes.

The savvy guests visiting your establishment will be expecting seasonal flavors, prepared in ways that incorporate spices and ingredients from all over the world. Guests have moved beyond the American fall classics and are ready for your interpretation of a world-influenced fall dish.

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The Best Chefs in the Country Share Their Best Fall Pairings

The Best Chefs in the Country Share Their Best Fall Pairings

By Kerri Adams, Editor-at-Large

Every season brings a new selection of ingredients for a chef to get creative with. For both the diner and chef, this keeps things interesting.

As usual, the fall season brings traditional favorites like apples and pumpkin. But, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, pears, figs and kale are also in season.

Fall doesn’t only only mean new ingredients to play with, but also new pairings to be made.

We decided ask some of the best chefs across the country about what menu dishes they are preparing this season, which ones have been the most popular, and what their perfect pairings are for fall.

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Seasonal Autumn Menus: Pumpkin and More Pumpkin

Seasonal Autumn Menus: Pumpkin and More Pumpkin

By Kerri Adams, Managing Editor

Restaurants offering autumn seasonal items on their menu is certainly not a new trend. Once summer is over, consumers look forward to the various fall holidays. Autumn brings seasonal ingredient favorites and since more restaurants are consistently offering seasonal menus year round now, this year’s autumn menus are as festival as ever– from the quick-serve to fine dining segment.

Why are Consumers Still Interested Year After Year?

What is the appeal of the pumpkin flavored dishes and beverages? Yes, Pumpkin Spice Lattes are tasty but this trend is not only about the taste of the ingredients- it is much more than that. Most of the items are only available for a few months, if that. This creates a sense of urgency for consumers and they don’t want to miss out. Consumers, especially millennials are going to be sharing their pumpkin flavor items on social media and this contributes to the autumn frenzy. They don’t want to miss out on Dunkin’ Donuts’ Pumpkin Pie Donut, when they have seen it pop up on their newsfeed since the season started. Can they wait until next year? Probably not. Limited time menu offers are effective promotions for brands because they bring in new business, they offer regular customers something new, and they initiate end of quarter highs.

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