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Ballantyne Magazine covers news, events, real estate, restaurants, shopping, health, schools and business in the upscale Ballantyne Area of Charlotte, NC.

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More Info Service fees for these personal chefs vary according to their client needs, and the cost of groceries is additional. For more information on services and pricing, check out: (Jill Aker-Ray) (Marsha Gale) (Shonali Thomas) Aker-Ray rises to unexpected challenges on the job; she once killed, cleaned and cooked 40 lobsters in Anguilla. She also provides meals for families spending "staycations" in their own homes. For a client on the blood-type diet, she spent time researching the science to develop acceptable options. "I love being an invisible chef," Aker-Ray notes. "If you want to impress your mother- in-law or boss with a beautiful meal and take credit for it, I'll come incognito to prep, cook and stage it. I sneak out the back before your guest arrives at the front door." Branscom says with the many conveniences and benefits of hiring a personal chef that it can be worth the investment. "If people really looked at their budgets to see how much money they spend at grocery stores and restaurants, they might as well hire a personal chef. It's worth it, knowing you're getting the best ingredients and personalized meals, and it frees up your time." Chimichurri Sauce Courtesy of Marsha Gale 1 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped ¾ cup fresh cilantro, chopped ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped 3 garlic cloves, minced ¼ cup red wine vinegar 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (add more to taste) juice of 1 lime ½ cup olive oil salt and pepper 1 skirt steak Coarsely chop flat-leaf parsley, cilantro, basil and garlic cloves. Put mixture in a food processor. Add red wine vinegar, juice of 1 lime, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper. Process to combine. Slowly add olive oil and process until smooth. Put chimichurri in a bowl and place in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes. Top skirt steak or any grilled meat with the chimichurri sauce. Makes approximately ¾ cup of sauce. Crash Hot Potatoes Courtesy of Shonali Thomas 8 baby red potatoes ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil SplenDishes Bourbon Bacon Salt 4 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste 2 tablespoons fresh herbs, finely chopped (rosemary, thyme and oregano work well) ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook potatoes in microwave until fork tender (approximately 3-5 minutes). Combine olive oil, herbs and garlic in a small bowl. Place potatoes on well- greased baking sheet. Using a potato masher, gently smash down potatoes in a crisscross direction (so each one resembles a peanut butter cookie). Brush smashed potatoes generously with olive oil mixture. Bake for 12 minutes, then top with parmesan cheese. Bake an additional 10 minutes, until tops and edges are crispy. Serves 4. Spring Asparagus and Strawberry Salad Courtesy of Jill Aker-Ray Gently combine the following: 1 pound asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces, tough ends removed (blanched and shocked, optional) 1 pint fresh strawberries, rinsed, stemmed and quartered Baby greens (shown with arugula), optional Add toppings and dressing: ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds ¼ cup crumbled blue cheese 3 tablespoons poppy seed dressing (see below) Serves 4-6. Homemade Mason Jar Poppy Seed Dressing 1 cup canola oil 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/4 cup white wine vinegar 1/2 cup honey 1 tablespoon poppy seeds 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon salt Place all dressing ingredients into a Mason jar. Place lid on jar and tighten. Shake vigorously. Store in refrigerator for up to a week. When ready to use, set out at room temperature for 30 minutes, then whisk or shake to combine again. BALLANTYNE SPRING 2019 62 Feature

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