Summer days are ending and Fall has officially started. I love this time of the year when the air is crisp, the light is golden, the leaves are changing colors and autumn’s harvest brings an array of new produce to play with in the kitchen. We’ve got some new menu items to highlight those amazing harvest flavors and a few returning favorites for fall.
Kimchi Chicken Plate
Kimchi originated in Korea and is a traditional side dish made from salted and fermented vegetables like cabbage, carrots, radish and cucumber with spices like chili pepper, ginger, garlic and scallion. The process of fermenting develops the unique tangy flavor and healthy probiotics which aid in a healthy gut and digestion. Kimchi was originally made by burying the vegetables in a container underground and letting them ferment. When the cooler months arrived, the kimchi was ready to unearth. Of course, modern technology has allowed us to make kimchi year-round but we think it is a great ingredient to feature during the fall and winter months. Our chefs have taken a unique approach to utilizing the kimchi by incorporating it into an aioli. We blend the kimchi with our scratch made roasted garlic aioli, a splash of rice vinegar, chili paste and tamari. The tangy and spicy kimchi balances perfectly with the rich creaminess of the aioli and sweetness of the rice vinegar. This velvety sauce is drizzled over our grilled cage-free chicken and served with any two sides of your choice and grilled rustic bread. This sauce also pairs well with our other proteins. I personally love it with our oven baked salmon.
Miso Mushroom Sweet Potato Sauté
Autumn flavors abound in this seasonal hot side that has become a favorite over the years. We source locally grown sweet potatoes and mushrooms as the center of this dish. Miso is another fermented ingredient made from soy beans. It is high in protein, good for gut health and provides a great source of vitamins B, K and E. Our chefs have incorporated two cooking methods, which makes this side even more special. First, we roast the sweet potatoes and mushrooms with our scratch made light white miso sauce that incorporates ginger, garlic, tamari and chili. The miso sauce perfectly coats the vegetables during the roasting process and caramelizes to enhance the flavors of the miso. Then we finish them on our sauté line with a splash of rice wine vinegar and a pinch of parsley. The end result will satisfy your craving for an earthy umami side with a hint of spice and natural sweetness from the potatoes. This side pairs well with any of our proteins, but I am really enjoying it with the kimchi chicken.
When the air is crisp and the nights are chilly I crave that comforting feeling that comes with enjoying a bowl of made-from-scratch soup. This fall we are introducing a new seafood chowder recipe. The Urban Plates version is inspired by the traditional New England style chowders of our chef’s home town. Of course, he has added his own unique twist to our recipe. We start by slowly cooking bacon to render the fat and enhance the smoky pork flavor. We then lightly cook organic carrots, sweet onions, celery and Yukon gold potatoes with fresh oregano, thyme and bay leaves until the vegetables are tender and the herbs have bloomed. We add milk, cream and clam juice and slowly simmer the soup with fresh fish and shrimp to gently cook everything. Our chef wanted to make this soup available to gluten sensitive guests and so we have omitted the use of flour as a thickener and replaced it with a tapioca starch! It doesn’t change the flavor at all and keeps the creamy smooth texture we love in a great chowder. The bacon adds a smoky background flavor to the balanced seafood profile, with a mild sweetness from the sweet cream and milk. We are offering this soup for the fall season and hope you can warm up with a bowl in your local Urban Plates.
Pomegranate Cranberry Apple Ginger Replenisher
Our pomegranate cranberry replenisher is my favorite fall replenisher. It is a blend of raw whole fruits and organic juices that have no sugar added. Pomegranates and cranberries are both excellent antioxidants and full of vitamin C and K. The addition of freshly juiced raw ginger gives this slightly tangy juice a spicy note that is sweetened by organic apple and orange juices. It’s a perfect showcase of fall fruits with the added benefit of providing you with a little immunity boost with the changing season.
Blueberry Ginger Limeade Replenisher
Our blueberry ginger limeade is light, refreshing and packed with antioxidants, vitamin C and anti-inflammatory properties. We use fresh organic lime juice blended with whole blueberries, kaffir lime leaves and raw ginger to make this a well-balanced thirst quenching replenisher. It’s slightly sweet with a little spice from the ginger and has a beautiful floral-citrus aroma from the kaffir lime leaves.
Fresh Apple Cake with Caramel Buttercream
Apple season is the epitome of fall for me. Every year I look forward to the opening of our local u-pick apple orchards. I love loading up on all the different varieties and making apple everything… pies, cider, tarts, fresh apple sauce and my favorite fresh apple cake with caramel buttercream! I mean how can you resist the perfect combination of apples and caramel. This cake consists of four luscious cake layers made with fresh organic apples, walnuts, vanilla, cinnamon and turmeric. The cake layers are filled with caramel buttercream made with our handmade caramel sauce, sweet cream butter and a hint of cream cheese whipped to a delicate fluffy consistency. The cake is topped with caramel apples and a drizzle of caramel sauce. The fresh tangy apples are tempered by the caramel flavor and warmed with the fall spices, making this the perfect fall dessert. We will offer this cake by the slice and whole…. in case you want to share.
With the changing season we are updating this salad with fall fruits. The strawberries and blueberries will be replaced by apples and oranges. This beautiful salad is a great way to load up on healthy whole fruits and vegetables.
Tomato Mozzarella Cold Side
Our tomato mozzarella salad has been a staple on the Urban Plates menu for many seasons. It was on the original menu of our first Urban Plates and has been a long time favorite. We’re always striving to improve and we think this new recipe will be a winner! We have changed the Roma tomatoes to a mix of heirloom cherry and grape tomatoes. The raw red onions are replaced with house pickled onions, which adds a sweet and sour flavor that matches the tomatoes perfectly. We’ve also added red bell pepper, pickled cherry peppers and slow roasted tomatoes, which add more depth to the base flavor of the salad. We hope you enjoy the new version and look forward to your feedback!