Recipe: Pandemic Punch

~ This is Day 215 ~

My friend sent me this drink recipe from Saveur magazine and it is literally my new favorite cocktail to drink at home! It’s tart, slightly sweet from the Grand Marnier, and boozy but doesn’t taste “boozy”. This is the Pandemic Punch! You’ve gotta be drinking this, we all need to drink this! If you don’t have Grand Marnier at home, Cointreau and Triple Sec are good substitutes too, according to the magazine. This is great because my Grand Marnier has been sitting on my shelf collecting dust because I used it one time to make a Christmas dessert, however many years ago because time doesn’t mean anything anymore!

To make this Pandemic Punch, just shake equal parts of the following:

  • Gin
  • Grand Marnier / Cointreau / Triple Sec
  • Lillet Blanc
  • Lemon juice

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Comfortably Numb

~ This is Day 206 ~

In case you were wondering, my day counts above in each post is the number of days since the lockdown happened in NYC, which was on March 16 for me. I think the official date was March 20 though.

After having three of these cocktails at Hutong last year for CNY, I rushed downtown to Astor Wines for the ingredients. Sadly, there wasn’t a vanilla vodka that I could find without it being crazy expensive. It occurred to me that I could just infuse my own so I went to this little spice shop in the East Village (Dual Spice Store, 1st Ave. between 5th-6th St.), since I was in the area, and I bought vanilla beans there. I don’t know where else you can get vanilla beans other than Dual and Kalustyan’s, which is in midtown east on Lexington Ave. between 28th-29th St.

  • 1-2 Thai chilis, cut/slit
  • 3 oz. vanilla infused vodka
  • 1 oz. lychee liqueur
  • ½ oz. honey water
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • Ice

To make honey water, mix equal parts of honey and water in your microwave or over a pot. Melt until combined then refrigerate to store.

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: White Negroni

~ This is Day 199 ~

I first encountered this cocktail at Dante last year. It’s a “white” Negroni with Cocchi Americano, and sweet and dry vermouths.

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Cocchi Americano
  • ½ oz. dry vermouth
  • ½ oz. sweet vermouth
  • 3 dashes lemon bitters
  • Garnish: baby breath flowers

NYC peeps: you can find all the ingredients at Astor Wines, their prices are the best!

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Beach Negroni

~ This is Day 192 ~

Of course being a summer baby, I knew I’d love this Beach Negroni when I stumbled into Subject, this Lower East Side cocktail bar, one night in November 2018.

  • 2 oz. gin
  • 1 oz. Contratto Bitter
  • ½ oz. Giffard Caribbean Pineapple Liqueur
  • 1 bar spoon Italicus Bergamot Liqueur
  • 3 dashes Cardamom Bitters

NYC peeps: you can find all the ingredients at Astor Wines, their prices are the best!

If you liked any of my tools and stuff from the video, you can get it yourself with these links:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Rontini Signature Fried Chicken

~ This is Day 189 ~

Watch how to make #RontiniSignatureFriedChicken below! I’ve been developing these fried chicken since 2005 so needless to say, this recipe is perfect as long as you follow it! This is my No.1 way of making fried chicken at home. I have other ways to make different types of fried chicken but this is my go-to for full meals!

If you liked any of my stuff, get them here with the links below:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

For the Marinade

  • 8-10 pieces organic chicken drumsticks
  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • 1 bunch cilantro, stems removed/washed
  • Soy sauce
  • Chili powder/Red Chili Flakes
  • Sesame oil

For the Finish

  • 3-4 qts deep frying oil (canola, soy, vegetable, grapeseed)
  • 1 bag rice flour in a ziplock

Recipe: Spicy Paloma

~ This is Day 185 ~

I’m gonna have to re-take this cocktail once I find the correct grapefruit. Need the RUBY RED variety because of that pink color!

If you liked my stuff, you can buy them here:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Recipe: Paella de Mariscos

~ This is Day 182 ~

I’ve posted a couple paellas (1 & 2) in the past but here is the instructive video on how to do it yourself at home! I thought I posted more than 2 on this current website but the other ones were probably from my previous website. Anyhow, watch below:

If you want what I have:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Makes one 13-inch paella pan. Feeds 3-4 people.

For the Salsa Verde

  • 1 cup parsley leaves, packed
  • 1 cup EVOO
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Salt

For the Rice

  • 2 onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, microplaned
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika/pimentón
  • 1 TBS tomato paste
  • 1.5 cups Matiz rice
  • 1100 mL chicken/clam/shrimp/lobster stock
  • Pinch of saffron
  • One 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
  • Assorted seafood
    • 1 monkfish fillet – cut into 1-inch pieces
    • 12 headless shrimp – deveined, tail left intact
    • 1 chorizo link (forgot to put in the chorizo in my video! But sear this with your pre-partially-cooking process.
    • A few squid tubes and tentacles – cut into thin strips
    • Mussels, de-bearded
    • Littleneck clams – soaked in salted cold water 20 minutes before cooking
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon wedges

Click here for the recipe to making your garlic aïoli!

Recipe: Garlic Aïoli

~ This is Day 178 ~

Ever had sriracha aïoli and wanted to make it at home? Learn how to make the base to all mayo/aïoli from my YouTube video! Also, mayonnaise is the base to many other sauces, such as tartar sauce, remoulade, rouille, salsa golf, etc…

To make garlic aïoli:

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1-2 cups neutral oil (grapeseed, canola)
  • 2 garlic cloves, microplaned
  • Salt, as needed

If you liked any of my stuff from the video, here are some links for them:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

If you ever need ideas for different flavors of mayo/aïoli, go find Pommes Frites in NYC. I’m glad they didn’t close down and were able to move locations after the East Village fire.

Recipe: Sweet Soy Glazed Baby Back Ribs

~ This is Day 175 ~

We are living in strange times right now… if I’m cooking for myself, I want tasty one-pot/pan recipes or easy clean-up because I despise the clean-up part of cooking. I have always hated cleaning up all the mess from the cooking process. Getting back to the topic of this post, this is my go-to way to make baby back ribs at home because it’s super easy and prep is light for this. Roasting this is also easy because it’s not all active, you can do other stuff during the 20-minute intervals.

The following is for one third of a rack of baby back ribs. Serves 1.

  • ⅓ rack baby back ribs
  • 3-inch piece ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 scallions
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 TBS red pepper flakes
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • Optional marinading ingredients: mirin, Chinese cooking wine

Slice the ginger and garlic thinly, on a mandolin or using a knife. Put those into the mixing bowl or shallow dish (if using a full rack) after slicing. Next, wash your scallions and trim off the roots and other damaged areas. Cut into one-inch pieces and put into the mixing bowl.

If you’re feeling super lazy, this next part is optional but I do it (almost) every time anyway because it just makes the meat fall off the bone easier. You want to trim off excess sinew, fat, membrane, etc… basically all that white stuff.

Next, add in the brown sugar and chili flakes. Add soy sauce to coat the ribs. Toss and turn the ribs and have the rib bones facing up while it marinates. You can either have the ribs marinading in room temperature for 2-3 hours or in the fridge for 4-6 hours or even overnight. 

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a sheet tray with foil or parchment paper, Pam spray the rack and place the ribs, bones facing upward, on the rack, and into the oven, set a timer for 20 minutes. Pour all marinating ingredients into a small saucepan. Turn on the heat and reduce until syrupy. Strain solids out and discard, the reduced marinade is the glaze that you’re going to apply on the ribs every 20 minutes. 

After the first 20 minutes, using a pastry brush, apply glaze onto the ribs. Then set another 20 minute timer. At this point, your ribs have been roasting for 40 minutes. Flip your ribs over using a pair of tongs. Apply glaze and roast for another 20 minutes. Onto the last 20 minutes! Apply glaze and set a timer! If you have leftover glaze, not a problem. Using the last of the glaze, apply to ribs for the last time and turn your oven on the broil function for 5 minutes. Then take ribs out from oven. It should be glistening.

Place your sexy ribs onto a plate and garnish with some chopped chives or scallions. 

Recipe: Sip of Sunshine

~ This is Day 171 ~

This was my first cocktail addition to my Rontini Cocktail menu at the beginning of this pandemic!

If you liked any of my stuff from the video, here are some links for them:

Disclosure: This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. All opinions are my own.

Cocktail Breakdown

  • Crushed ice, as needed
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 oz. pear juice // peach nectar
  • 2 oz. pineapple liqueur
  • 3 oz. Empress gin
  • Garnish options: pineapple chunks skewer // pineapple leaves