Food for the Soul;
Recipes for your Kitchen

Annette Joseph

Thee home décor and furnishing company Ballard Designs had a peculiar beginning. It all began when Helen Ballard Weeks’ home was photographed for Metropolitan Home. When the issue was released, readers contacted the publication asking about the home’s décor, furnishings and a dolphin-inspired table and where they could purchase these items. Encouraged by the reaction, Weeks sensed she had something to offer. She quit her job and launched Ballard Designs in 1983. Fast-for-ward to 2015, and Ballard Designs’ décor picks are still on-trend and sharp, thanks in part to Karen Mooney. As Ballard’s senior vice president of brand management, Mooney has a penchant for gorgeous home décor and effortless entertaining. Her work and home life seamlessly intersect.

Every other Monday night, Mooney, her husband Joe and their two boys invite friends and neighbors to their newly renovated home for “Mooney Monday,” a spin on the traditional supper club. “Sundays are filled with family engagements and sports events, so Monday night became a natural go-to for grabbing a casual dinner,” explains Mooney. “I prepare the dishes on Sunday, then go to work Monday and reheat everything in time for arrivals at 7 p.m. It’s a great way to get rid of Monday blues.” The Mooney Monday menu is simple, yet interesting, starting with a Southern signature cocktail made by Mooney’s friend Dennis Dean, celebrity caterer and part-time bowtie designer. To save time, Mooney recommends skipping appetizers and immediately serving the main course. Of course, the most important component is Southern hospitality, which is abundant in the Mooney household.


cauliflower slawCauliflower Slaw

Serves 6-8

1 cup thinly sliced almonds, toasted
Juice of a lemon

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ teaspoon fine sea salt or table salt, then more to taste
6 tablespoons dried currants
10 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for frying
4 tablespoons brined or salt-packed capers
Olive oil for frying
2 small, compact-looking heads of cauliflower (about 2½ pounds)
Freshly ground black pepper
3 scallions, thinly sliced (use green and white parts)
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F. Spread almonds on a tray and toast them until they’re a deep golden color; this takes about five minutes. Toss them once or twice to ensure even cooking. Be sure to watch your almonds so they don’t burn. Set aside to cool.

Place lemon juice, vinegar and ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Add currants; set aside and let them soak while you prepare the other ingredients.

If using brined capers, drain and spread them on paper towels until most of their moisture has wicked out, about 5 minutes. If using salt-packed capers, soak them in water for 10 minutes to remove the saltiness, then drain, rinse and pat dry on paper towels. Pour ½-inch of olive oil (you may use another oil that you prefer) in a small skillet or saucepan. Heat it over medium-high. When hot enough that a droplet of water added to the oil hisses, carefully add the capers and step back. Be cautious as they’re going to sputter a bit for the first 10 seconds. Once it’s safe to get closer, give them a stir. Depending on how dry they were, it can take 1 to 2 minutes for them to get lightly golden at the edges and then crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon. Drain on paper towels.

Trim cauliflower leaves and cut head into quarters. Use an adjustable mandoline to cut cauliflower, stem and florets into ¼-inch slices. (You can also use the flat slicing blade of your food processor or but by hand.) Place in a large bowl. Scoop currants from the vinegar mixture with a slotted spoon; reserve the vinegar for the dressing. Add currants, almonds, capers, scallions and parsley to the bowl of cauliflower. Slowly whisk 5 tablespoons of olive oil into the remaining vinegar mixture in a thin stream.

Add several turns of freshly ground black pepper. Pour the dressing over cauliflower and other ingredients and turn gently to coat all pieces. Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more lemon juice, salt or pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature. If you make this dish in advance, store in the refrigerator overnight and pull out three hours before serving.


AffogatoAffogato

Serves 8

Espresso

Vanilla ice cream

Place 1 scoop of ice cream in a glass plate, then pour espresso over it. The espresso should be served warm, not hot. Garnish as you please.

 

 

 


Bourbon Sparkle Cocktail

1 servingBourbon Sparkle

1.5 oz. bourbon

.25 oz. lemon juice

1 oz. peach puree

.5 oz. simple syrup

.25 oz. Campari

3 oz. Prosecco

Raspberries

 

Pour all ingredients into a large pitcher and stir. Serve in a Champagne flute or tumbler and garnish with a raspberry and mint.


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Annette Joseph is the author of Picture Perfect Parties (Rizzoli), the guide to flawless, stylish and effortless entertaining.

Photography by Sarah Dorio

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