Chef Lindsay Autry Shares Southern Classics with a Mediterranean Twist

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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!

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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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Fall/Winter Flavor Trends Beyond Pumpkin

Fall/Winter Flavor Trends Beyond Pumpkin

By Suzy Badaracco, Foodable Industry Expert

A fall/winter food trends article would not be worthy of the name unless pumpkin is mentioned. One of the reasons pumpkin is again showing up so strongly this year is because it is able to simultaneously move laterally and also form new alliances. Last year, pumpkin did not share the spotlight, but to continue its upward trajectory it had to reinvent itself and form alliances with other foods and flavors of the season.  

While Starbucks didn’t create the pumpkin trend, it did champion a ricochet which occurs when a trend jumps tracks. Traditionally pumpkin has been in the bakery, but by moving it to beverages, they reinvented the profile. Since then, pumpkin has moved to yogurt, smoothies, ice cream, and savory items.

The second phenomenon that occurred is a morph — when other cousins come into the spotlight, like regional maple, caramel, ginger, eggnog, cider, maple cranberry, regional apple and pear varietals. They show off regional and historical ties, which are a more sophisticated positioning than “comfort food” this season.

Many of the fall/winter flavors boast an emotional connection for consumers since these flavors and combinations are historical to the U.S. Pumpkin and its cousins have ties to many other trends including that of seasonal, local, authentic, and regional flavors. They represent grounding flavors in an uncertain time. This is why you don’t see global flavors infiltrating the traditional seasonal flavors in the U.S.

Let’s step away from the ordinary and move to the exploratory.

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Fall Flavors Hit DC Menus, Jumpstart Seasonal Business

Fall Flavors Hit DC Menus, Jumpstart Seasonal Business

By Rick Zambrano, Foodable Industry Expert

The cool, crisp air has signaled the permanent arrival of fall in the Washington, DC area. The fruit & vegetable stands and farmers markets feature seasonal vegetables and an abundance of roots and winter squash as the leaves on trees start changing color. Seasonal holidays and trendy pumpkin spice flavors at chain restaurants trigger our focus on pumpkin, sweet potatoes and comfort foods. For area restaurateurs looking to give diners a reason to walk back through the door after summer vacations and long trips out of town, fall flavors answer the call. Food Genius, a menu and data analytics firm, indicate that 4 percent of restaurant menus in DC, Maryland and Virginia mention pumpkin. This indicates even more opportunity for restaurants to use such fall foods to bring excitement to menus. Here are some seasonally relevant dishes incorporating roots, squash and pumpkin in Metro D.C.

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