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: 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: Watermelon “Sushi”

~ This is Day 164 ~

Looking for a quick and easy, last minute passed hors-d’oeuvres? This is it! All you need is a plate for passing because the watermelon acts like its own vessel! This is one of my favorite canapés to do!

I always like to have reduced sherry vinegar on hand at home because I use it to season a lot of random things. I buy a 16-year aged Pedro Ximénez sweet sherry vinegar from Despaña and reduce it with herbs and spices until it becomes syrupy. You should err on the conservative side when reducing because the reduced vinegar is going to be served either cold or room temperature so you don’t want to over-reduce it in the pot. Of course, you can always add water to thin it out and bring it back to a boil.

Obviously, you’re not going to use all the watermelon. The best part is the center where it is most dense and less airy due to where the seeds usually are.

I like using kanpachi because it is less fatty than regular hamachi. Some fish suggestions:

  • Dover sole
  • Fluke / hirame
  • Yellowtail / hamachi (lean)
    • Hawaiian Amberjack / kanpachi (pictured)
  • Red snapper / red seabream / madai
  • Salmon (lean) / sake **use as last resort, if you cannot find any white fish

Not in Manhattan? Some Amazon links to some sherry vinegars:

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 around 36 servings/pieces.

  • 1 whole seedless watermelon
  • 10 oz. kanpachi, sashimi grade
  • 1 pint curing salt
    • equal parts kosher salt and granulated sugar
  • 2 limes
  • Reduced sherry vinegar

Cut the watermelon into rectangular blocks and set aside. In a shallow container, pour the curing salt to cover the bottom of the container. Place the fish fillets on top and then bury completely with the rest of the curing salt. Place uncovered in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.

Once the 45 minutes is up, rinse the fillets under cold water and wrap in a damp paper towel and put into an air-tight container, back into the refrigerator.

When ready to serve, cut watermelon into thin rectangles and place on a plate. Using a slicer or very sharp and long knife, slice fish into thin cuts. Place 1-2 pieces of sliced fish onto each watermelon piece. Drizzle sherry reduction and microplane fresh lime zest over the top.

This is always a big crowd pleaser and is perfect for summer!

Recipe: Tokyo Mule

~ This is Day 150 ~

The first Rontini cocktail is up and live on YouTube!

Like I said in the video, if you’re looking for something easy, fast, and refreshing, this is the cocktail for you! I forgot to mention, this cocktail is easy to make in large amounts too, for punch bowls or parties!

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

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.

You can find Roku gin pretty much everywhere in NYC. But the best price that I’ve encountered has been at Warehouse Wines & Spirits. They do deliver and are pretty fast about delivering your boozy needs to you. I started ordering from them all the time at the beginning of the pandemic.

Blue Corn Tacos with Duck Leg Confit & Red Mole

I only just realized that I forgot to post this from last year’s Friendsgiving… here it is.

Why blue? They look purple to me.

I still stand by the confit method as the best way to cook duck legs. You can never go wrong with confit. And what better way to serve succulent shredded meat than with tacos? Two years ago, I used regular colored tortillas but I wanted the pop of color from the purple blue shells! Also, last year, I kept the legs and breasts separate. I like to switch it up from time to time. Don’t want my guests to get bored with my food!

The red mole here is from one of my good friends! I love it so much!

 

Duck Carnitas

This was the fourth course to my Friendsgiving 2017 dinner.

For those of you new to the site, and to me, I dislike turkey, which is why I always serve duck instead during the holiday. Besides, duck tastes better than turkey. I will even cook chicken before I cook a bleeping turkey!

I usually split the breast and legs for separate courses but this year, I decided to confit both parts and serve them up family-style with tortillas and other accoutrements. I was inspired from Cosme‘s Duck Carnitas – I’ve only read about it, I haven’t had a chance to go in and try it. Hopefully, this was equally amazing!

Along with the Duck Carnitas, I served it with Pickled Onions, freshly shaved Watermelon Radish, Serrano Peppers (not in photo), Micro Celery, Lime (not in photo), and warm Tortillas.

DSCN2761

Plans for Friendsgiving 2017

I’m a month late this year… I usually have my Friendsgiving menu ready in August – I like to plan early!

Goat’s Milk Ice Cream, Pumpernickel Soil, Lemon Foam, Microgreens
(1st course)

Dill-Brined Halibut with Farro, Sun-Dried Tomato, Pine Nuts, Micro Chervil
(2nd course)

Butternut Squash Velouté, Black Trumpets, Chanterelles, Toasted Pepitas & Chives
(3rd course)

Duck Carnitas, Pickled Onions, Watermelon Radish, Serrano, Cilantro, Lime, Tortillas
(4th course)

Warm Pear Tart, Candied Pecans, Maple Ice Cream
(5th course)