. 25 min read

BITE: Dish’s Favorite Weekday Dish. Roasted Salmon With A Crispy Skin.

An occasional column on food obsessions.

I eat a lot of salmon. I have put a lot of effort into staying healthy this year and that has included eating salmon 3-5 times a week, prepared a multitude of ways to keep things interesting. I have a favorite local place to pick up fresh fish but it’s about 20 minutes away, depending on bridges and trains. If I am in the neighborhood or cooking for anyone else I will make sure I pick up the fresh salmon. Otherwise I always have a package of these farm-raised Atlantic Salmon Fillets from Whole Foods in my freezer:

I have found better brands of frozen salmon fillets, which I pick up when I can, but they’re not reliably available. And Whole Foods has a wild-caught version that is probably healthier, but it doesn’t taste as good to me, and if it doesn’t taste good to me I won’t eat it.

These frozen salmon fillets are perfectly good if you fix them in the best way to fix frozen salmon. Which is to say, by roasting it, then putting it under a broil so it comes out nice and crisp. (Below is how I do it, but this YouTube from Sohla of the New York Times is very close to my version if you prefer learning that way.)

Make sure you have kosher salt for the brine because it is less “salty” than regular table salt.

Create a dry brine: sprinkle kosher salt heavily on all sides of the fillet, including the skin (which you are keeping on). Let the salmon sit in the brine in your refrigerator for 15-20 minutes.

Set the oven at 425 degrees.

Rinse off the salt in cold water. Pat the fish dry with paper towels. It is key that you pat it dry in order for it to crisp up.

Spray the fish with a light spray of olive oil. (A friend gave me this EVO olive oil sprayer and it’s the bomb. Glass bottle, filled with my favorite olive oil, and it creates a nice light spray. Before that, I used store-bought can spray, which is better than globbing the oil on from a bottle but not as good as my own high quality olive oil.) If you only have olive oil in a bottle, don’t sweat it. Just put a very thin layer on all sides and rub it evenly. If you want, you can lightly salt again, since you washed off the brine—I salt ever so lightly at this stage.

Put in the middle of the oven, skin up, for 12 minutes. Check—mine is usually ready after 12 minutes—but squeeze the sides. You want to feel just a little resistance. If it needs more, it won’t need more than 3 minutes, so I’d put it in for a minute and check, etc. You’re essentially roasting a total of 12-15 minutes, but checking every minute after 12 minutes.

Set the oven to BROIL on high. Let the fish sit for 5 minutes.

To give it a lovely bit of extra crisp put it back in the over for JUST ONE MINUTE.

Voila! You’ve got a simple, crispy salmon that goes with virtually everything. Here I served it with a simple garden salad:

Dish dives in to her Roasted Crispy Salmon with a garden salad.

Let me know how it goes.

Got a favorite personal recipe for a simple, go-to something? We’d love to share it.

Bite. Sheet Pan Dinners: The Simple Solution to No-Fuss Cooking. By Lauren D. Weinstein

I dread having to whip up labor-intensive recipes, with ingredients that I can’t pronounce (WTF is Charnushka?) or even find in the grocery aisle, especially when I am over-tired, “hangry” and easily tempted to rip open and devour the nearest bag of Flamin’ Hot Doritos and call it a night. In an ideal world, meals would be prepared with great thought, chock full of nourishing ingredients to salivate over. However, most of us, with our packed schedules and never-ending to-do lists, have minimal time to shop and prepare nutritious, flavorful meals.

To save all of us from this regrettable consumption of empty calories (and having your scorched tongue stained an unnatural shade of burnt orange), I’ve curated and tweaked three no-fail sheet pan recipes to satisfy hunger pangs, finicky palettes, diets, and the urgency to get dinner ready in a flash.

Crispy coated Cauliflower with Tomatoes and Beans
Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly
Serves: 4
Cooking time: 35-40 min

1 large cauliflower, leaves removed, core intact, cut into 1 inch slices
½ cup olive oil
2 tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. black pepper
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1tbsp. parsley fresh or dehydrated
1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs (gluten free)
1/4 cup grated Vegan Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. Vegan mayonnaise
1tsp. Dijon mustard
1 14 ounce can of Northern (cannellini) beans
1 14 ounce can fire-roasted or plain diced tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 425F. Place cauliflower slices on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle both sides of cauliflower with oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 min, turn halfway through, until the slices begin to turn brown on the edges and soften.
2. Whisk together the garlic, parsley, remaining oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Take out half of the mixture and transfer to another bowl with the panko and parmesan. Mix well and set aside.
3. Add the beans to the first bowl. Whisk the mayo and mustard in a small bowl.
4. Once the cauliflower is cooked, remove from oven. Spread the mayo mixture over the cauliflower. Top with breadcrumbs and gently press into the mayo. Return the sheet pan and roast for 5-7 minutes.
5. Combine the beans and tomatoes in a large skillet, medium flame. Cook and stir till bubbling. Serve with the crispy cauliflower.

Garlic Steak and Potatoes in Foil
For Meat Lovers
Serves: 4
Cooking time: 30 minutes

2-2 1/2 pounds top sirloin steak, trim the fat and cut into two ½ inch pieces
1 pound of baby yellow potatoes, quartered
3 tbsp. olive oil
Salt, pepper to taste
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. each: onion powder, oregano, parsley, dried thyme

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and divide into 4 12x12 sheets of foil and wrap into packets.
3. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes.
4. Garnish with fresh thyme or parsley.

Salmon and Veggie Fiesta
(You can also substitute with boneless, sliced chicken breast.)
Serves: 4-6
Cooking time: 30-40 min

1-1/2 pounds salmon fillet
1 pint tomatoes
2 orange bell peppers
1 yellow squash
2 cups of broccoli florets
½ red onion cut in big chunks
3 tbsp. Olive oil
1 tsp. salt
¾ tsp. ground black pepper

3 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp honey
8 cloves garlic minced and divided
4 tsp. lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400F, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and spray with cooking oil
2. In a small bowl, whisk mustard, honey, lemon juice and half the garlic. Mix until blended.
3. Place the salmon fillet skin side down on the top of the cookie sheet. Line the vegetables below it.
4. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables, season with salt and pepper.
5. Brush the salmon with the honey mixture, sprinkle the leftover garlic over the salmon
6. Bake for 20-25 min, remove the cookie sheet and lightly cover the salmon, let rest for 10 min and serve.

Tip: Keep bags of pre-cut vegetables on hand in the fridge for less prep time and portion control.

You may stretch these meals even further by serving a side of brown rice or quinoa.

Try: Good & Gather’s 90 Second Whole Grain Brown Rice Microwavable Pouch, 8.8 oz. $1.29

Minute Ready to Serve Organic White and Red Quinoa, $2.38,

Bon appetit! And save the Dorito’s for another day. Most importantly, these recipes are meant to make your life easier. If you don’t have orange peppers, use red. There are no rules, feel free to make these dinners your own.

Side note: If you are curious, Charnushka is a small, fragrant black seed used in rye bread and flatbreads.

BITE. Go Date Yourself! By Ali Waks Adams

Chef Ali designs the perfect, easy menu for when you want to be alone with your favorite person: Yourself.

In the before times—in the before, before times—my life consisted of rushing from one place to another, frantically making connections, searching for someone, or something that would complete me. I rarely thought about making time for myself. Life was very “IMPORTANT” and “URGENT”, and I was young and I spent a lot of time alone, and I didn’t appreciate it. AT ALL!

I am now a married lady who lives in a small town, a place where you do not even have to dial the area code to make a local call (I took me months to figure out why I couldn’t use a landline). I spend a good deal of my day times alone. During the pandemic, I spent too many of my days alone and absolutely none of my nights. My husband was home every single night. EVERYSINGLEF*INGNIGHT. He never went camping with a friend, or away for a couple of nights for work training, or back to New Jersey to visit family. I would work “late” one night a week, but we would still have dinner when I got home at 8 p.m. (which in pandemic Maine was the equivalent of 3 a.m. in another big city life).

When I was single, I would have read that paragraph and said, F-You, you smug bitch, what is so terrible about having dinner with the man you love every night? Well, I would like to tell my younger self, you are romanticizing a life you are not living.

I am now a person who understands how welcome and necessary a night alone can be. I learned this lesson from my dear friend JP. JP is beautiful, brilliant, kind and just a terrific woman. She has a crazy, intense, stressful job where she takes care of a lot of people, like a city’s worth of people who need a lot of things very desperately. JP great at prioritizing treating herself well, she makes herself lovely dinners and wears her leather shorts with heels and make up to Zoom meetings.

If that sounds weird to you then you have the same lessons to learn that I did. Treating yourself with generosity and kindness is so freaking great when you get the hang of it! It’s not just snugging up in your comfiest comfies with a pint of takeout noodles whilst binge watching ‘90s rom coms. There are evenings when you need to buy yourself some flowers, put on something that makes you feel really good about yourself (even if you haven’t quite figured out how to wear it outside), make a cocktail (or mocktail), cook yourself a really soul nourishing dinner and enjoy your own company, eat at the table with utensils, drink good wine, wash the dishes, smoke a joint, take a bath, have dessert and retire at the end of the evening with yourself and enjoy that time, all of it, because you are being nice to your most important person, you. (Just don’t forget to moisturize).

I’ve designed a menu for the perfect solo night in, when you want to “date yourself”. Keep it simple as far as prep and clean up, because, yeah, it’s nice to be really extravagant but facing a sink full of dishes is just no fun. I tend towards pasta when I am alone, my husband is really annoying about not eating carbs and it feels super indulgent to basically make buttered noodles for myself for dinner.


Menu for a Solo Night In

Vodka Martini

Caprese Salad

The BEST TOMATO you can get your hands on + burrata, olive oil, basil, mint, chilies, flaky salt & vinegar

Truffled Cacio e Pepe*

A personal favorite, recipe below

Easy Green Salad

Mine is baby lettuce from farmers’ market w mustard/shallot vinaigrette)

Dark Chocolate Sorbet

Dark chocolate sorbet + olive oil & smoked Maldon salt (don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, it’s so grown up and addictive)

Wine Suggestion: It is my strong belief that champagne goes with literally everything that is food, but a Pinot Noir would also work.


Truffled Cacio e Pepe

The better the cheese the better this dish is, buy the good stuff, grate it yourself. Buy good pasta, buy good butter. Trader Joes has it, so does Whole Foods. If you can’t find the Pecorino al Tartufo (aged sheep’s milk cheese with black truffle) you have some options: 1. Buy a truffle, amazingly you can get them on Amazon right now, but also possibly at your local gourmet store; 2. Buy jarred truffle, this is a pretty good option you can get it on line, at a gourmet store or, my secret spot is Home Goods or TJ Maxx…seriously they have crazy deals on truffle stuff. If you can find the jarred sliced truffle get it, get all of it and make everything super fancy; 3. Truffle oil. Okay, I am not a huge fan—unless it is infused and not flavored, artificial truffle tastes like gasoline—real truffle tastes of mushrooms and sex and mysteries.

This is a super easy-to-make method and leaves you with some extra Cacio e Pepe to put on whatever you toast, grains, veggies, chicken, eggs, spoons.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup grated Parmigiana Reggiano
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino al Tartufo or Aged Pecorino Cheese
  • 1 pound of pasta (I like Spaghetti for this)
  • 1 tablespoon (or more) good butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper
  • OPTIONAL: Extra juzzz, spoonful of truffle paste, jarred sliced truffle, shaved real truffle or a splash at the very, very end of real black truffle oil

How to Make It:

  1. Bring a largish pot of salted water to boil. How salty? It should taste like tears or the ocean—don’t leave this step out even if it seems like you are using too much salt, you probably are not. Pro Tip: Don’t wait until the water is at a roiling boil to see if its salty enough when it comes to about a simmer stick your pinky in or a spoon).
  2. When water is at a roiling boil (big active bubbles), add pasta. Cook to package directions, maybe one minute less for dried pasta.
  3. Place grated cheese in a blender or food processor or a bowl, add several grinds of fresh pepper (depends on how much you like pepper, if you don’t really like it just leave it out).
  4. Ladle out about half-cup of the pasta water and add to the cheese & pepper. Blend until creamy.
  5. Pour out into a large bowl (bigger than you think you’ll need).
  6. Once pasta is finished, using tongs or a slotted spoon (depending on pasta shape – you’ll go crazy trying to spoon spaghetti or tong out penne), move the pasta into the bowl with the cheese mixture (don’t worry of some water gets in there- you want that).
  7. Turn, turn, turn the pasta and cheese together—it will start to get creamy—the pasta will absorb the cheese and give up a bit of starch.
  8. Add the lump of butter and turn, turn, and turn again.
  9. Ladle the pasta into a warm bowl (nuke it or just run it under hot water for a bit…you wouldn’t think it makes a difference, but it does and why not make it the best…after all it for you and you are the best!).
  10. Add more cheese and more pepper and any extra truffliness you desire.

If, instead of a quiet night in, you are still looking for a party menu Chef Ali Waks Adams' previous BITE column Post Pandemic Party People has what you need here.

BITE: A Tricks for Treats Menu. By Ali Waks Adams

Chef Ali designs an autumn-inspired, harvest-time nourishing menu to make your mouth water.

Hello October! It’s harvest time for apples, pears, grapes, pumpkins, hearty greens, and all the squashes. Autumn is the time to get into the kitchen.

I’ve been doing Whole30 and I hate it a lot. It’s been very challenging to make food that tastes good without soy, miso, parmigiano, butter, black bean paste, milk, gouchuang, and sugar. Mashed potatoes with almond milk taste a lot like almonds, but not in a good way. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is challenging. I‘ve had to relearn how to cook for myself that is nourishing, but not punishing. The first week I tried all these “products”—special sauces, cauliflower rice, zoodles—trying to make things taste like what they aren’t. It was no fun.

Then I started just making food. I pureed cauliflower with roast garlic and really good olive oil, I made a fantastic salad with tahini dressing, I roasted a chicken with lemon and garlic, I made a beautiful butternut squash soup and garnished it with apples and toasted hazelnuts (once this is over I’m definitely drizzling some crème fraiche in there). The lesson that I’m learning from the Whole30 may not be the one they expected me to learn: I need to eat real food, good food and make it the best I can, and in order to do that I need to rely on my cadre of cooking tricks.

And I am here, right now, on PrimeCrush to help you do it, too. Here’s my list of cooking “tricks” that apply across the board to help you treat yourself right (at least in a culinary way):

Salt-N-Pepa in the house. Use good salt and fresh ground pepper. Salt cooking water, sprinkle a little salt every time you add a new ingredient. Invest in good salt like a Fleur De Sel or Diamond Kosher. Stop using iodized salt, stop using that weird tin of ground pepper from 1990.

Don’t drop the acid! Lemon juice, lime juice, vinegar, grapefruit juice, verjus… All of these wonderful things elevate your food. A little bit goes a long way; squeeze some lemon, drizzle some vinegar. Add pickles to a bowl of rice and see what a difference it makes. Roast some broccoli that has been chopped into bite-sized pieces and sprayed with olive oil at 375 until it is slightly browned, and then just before serving drizzle lemon over it. The lemon juice elevates it. And maybe try some freshly grated parmigiano if you’re not (like me) on Whole30?

Texture is sexy. Texture is a chick who’s travelled, who reads books, who can climb a tree, texture always has great earrings. Texture keeps you coming back for more. Creamy, crunchy, chewy, crispy, smooth, brittle, buttery, puffy, fluffy…you get it.

A bowl of black beans is nice, a bowl of black beans with corn nuts, chopped tomato, diced onion, pickled jalapenos, cilantro and maybe a bit of sour cream is a delicious meal and one that takes less than 10 minutes ! Open a can , set it to warm on the stove and forage in your fridge/pantry for something crunchy (corn nuts, corn chips, corn chex), something juicy(tomatoes, salsa, pineapple, pickled jalapenos), something fresh and aromatic ( onion, cilantro, mint, shallots, garlic) , something creamy (sour cream or yogurt) and “Voila”-you’ve got a gorgeous dinner in less time than it takes for your pedi to dry.

Fat tastes good, really good. It’s frickn’ science, yo. Fats concentrate and dissolve flavor chemicals, upping your eating pleasure. Think quality over quantity. Like good diamonds, you don’t need much to make an impact. Finish steamed vegetables with a drizzle of really good olive oil. A tiny bit of butter whisked into a sauce at the very end gives it body and depth, a drizzle of brown butter over a piece of fish makes it elegant.

Don’t be wasteful. The more you cook the more you’ll find leftover bits and bobs. Save vegetable scraps and/or meat bones/shrimp shells to make stock, wilted lettuce can go in the juicer or in a smoothie, wilted herbs can make a pesto, chimichurri, or salsa verde. A little salt, sugar and vinegar will transform stalks and random vegetables into pickles. Make old bread into breadcrumbs, croutons or use to thicken soups. Blend leftover cheeses with white wine and garlic, they will last forever and are fab impromptu fancy snacks. Almost any leftover can be topped with a fried egg and chili crisp.

Today, we are making Butternut Squash Soup, with variations to suit everyone’s taste.

This recipe makes about eight servings, reheats beautifully, and freezes really well, and you can double it if you need more soup. You can use any winter squash for this—acorn, pumpkin, kabocha, delicata, kuri—you can also mix a couple of varieties together.

The Soup Recipe:

3-4 cups squash of choice, peeled, seeded and chopped (no one will judge you for buying pre-chopped, also if you hate squash but love sweet potato use that

2 tbs basic olive oil or melted butter, or ghee or coconut oil (butter + extra virgin olive oil combo is also good)

½ cup chopped red onion, shallot, yellow onion or leek or a combo

1 cup peeled chopped tart apple, pear or quince if you are very lucky

2-3 sprigs thyme or 1 tbs red curry paste or 1ctbs garum masala or tbs vanilla or chipotle in adobo

1 inch fresh ginger chopped, 1 tbs ginger paste or 1 tbs chopped candied ginger

2 tbs maple syrup, honey, molasses, date molasses, coconut sugar

2 qts vegetable or chicken stock

½ cup of cream, crème fraiche, yoghurt, coconut milk, oat or nut milk

Here’s how to make it:

Toss together everything but the stock and milk. Season generously with salt and pepper and drizzle with fat of choice. Roast at 375 degrees for about 20 minutes (you can do this a day ahead) Or: Heat fat of choice in the bottom of a soup pot, season with salt and pepper and sauté until soft. Roasting will give a deeper darker flavor and sautéing a more delicate one.

Put roasted vegetables (etc.) in soup pot, add stock and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.

Puree the soup, I prefer a stick/immersion blender, but use what you have, a blender is a better choice than a food processor, and do it in batches and make sure you remember to put the lid on the blender (this is one of the many reasons why I have an immersion blender, ceilings are hard to clean).

Whisk in milk of choice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Finish with fat + acid + texture (Aha! It all comes together!)

And here are some handy, helpful reminders to make your recipe extra tasty:

Fat #1: Melted butter, melted browned butter, olive oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, chili oil, chili crisp, coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil.

Optional Fat #2: Dollop Greek yogurt, cream fraiche, sour cream, mascarpone, whipped coconut cream.

Acid: Lime juice, lemon juice, sherry vinegar, balsamic vinegar, maple vinegar.

Texture: Toasted coconut, toasted walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, honey roasted peanuts, crumbled oatmeal cracker, savory granola, puffed rice, cornbread croutons, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, terra chips, flaky sea salt, flaky smoked salt.

Extra extras: Chopped apples or pears, hot sauce, drizzle maple syrup, dusting of Aleppo, urfa or ancho pepper, chopped fresh or pickled jalapeno, pickled ginger, candied ginger, chili crisp

My favorite combinations:

Pumpkin + apple + chipotle + candied ginger + cream finished with lime, sour cream, honey roasted peanuts and ancho.

Kuri + Asian pear + red curry paste + ginger + coconut milk finished with lime juice, coconut cream, diced Asian pear and toasted cashews.

Butternut + quince + brown butter + vanilla + crème fraiche finished w brown butter, hazelnuts, candied ginger, maple syrup and sherry vinegar.

Take me back to The Crush Letter 35: Trick or Treat Issue

BITE. What to Cook When You Want to F*ck. By Ali Waks Adams

This time around, Chef Ali designed an easy edible experience that seduces, before and after.

Seduction is my favorite part—it is all about possibilities. You are inviting someone in, showing them just a little of what you got goin’ on. Like a great dish, it starts with the barest whiff of attraction, sliding garlic cloves into warm oil. Soon there’s a legitimate aroma pulling you in, filling the room. Attraction is like that too, even the slightest possibility of sex makes the air a bit thicker, you feel yourself moving through it languidly, every movement means something.

As a chef, I am a professional seductress, I tease, I tantalize, I draw you in to my world. My food heightens your senses, you find out what this tastes like, what that feels like, what it smells like, you eagerly anticipate what’s next until that final climax and then—ahhhhhh!—we relax together with a few little nibbles, and bites left to linger over. We are temporarily sated, but still curious…what could be next.

Food is a fabulous vehicle for seduction. I fed a man his first fresh fig, teetering on over ripeness - almost sticky, I wrapped it in salty, meaty serrano ham, I fed it to him by hand. I brought one gentleman into my world by leaving tiny bits of food out for him to taste, offering things he’d never thought of eating—truffles, roasted oysters, mushrooms. Before meeting me he thought the five basic flavors were Ranch, Blue Cheese, Ketchup, BBQ and Cheez (they are, for the uninformed, Salty, Sour, Sweet, Bitter and Umami). I seduced my husband with a cheese plate. After a mouthful of aged cheddar crunchy with crystals and crisp russet apple drizzled with buckwheat honey, he was very interested in finding out what else I had to offer.

The sexiest, most seductive meal is one that invites, one that goes a bit deep, and by that, I mean a meal that has something of you in it. It’s your best, your favorite, it’s that combination that gives you goosebumps. You don’t have to share every single thing at once, just open a door a crack, just enough so whomever you are seducing wants to get in, whether it’s your long-term partner or that couple in the vacation rental next door.

First, plan an easy edible experience from your own repertoire to seduce, whether that's homemade or a favorite takeout. Something that makes you - as seducer - happy, whether it’s charcuterie, takeout dumplings, fondue, a great sandwich, a roast chicken or eggplant parmesan. It should be simple.

And then, make this beautiful mess of a crumble, warm and sweet, doused in thick cream—it's for after—when you are lying about undressed, half dressed, cross-dressed or whatever you do, and your relaxed, satisfied and hungry.

I have just the thing: Banana Crumble with Miso.

This recipe makes enough for two with leftovers for breakfast…if you are planning to seduce more than one person it is easily doubled or tripled.

If you hate bananas use can use literally any fruit whatsoever. My second favorites are big fat summer blackberries or sour cherries (leave out the miso and rum, substitute brandy or kirsch). Oh yeah and dont forget about apricot, blueberry, apple, pear, mango (mango/peach = amazing!). Just use what’s good and what’s in season. Whatever fruit you use, use the best you can find, use one kind, use two kinds, use three, make it your own!

I have just the thing: Banana Crumble with Miso.

This recipe makes enough for two with leftovers for breakfast…if you are planning to seduce more than one person it is easily doubled or tripled.

If you hate bananas use can use literally any fruit whatsoever. My second favorites are big fat summer blackberries or sour cherries (leave out the miso and rum, substitute brandy or kirsch). Oh yeah and dont forget about apricot, blueberry, apple, pear, mango (mango/peach = amazing!). Just use what’s good and what’s in season. Whatever fruit you use, use the best you can find, use one kind, use two kinds, use three, make it your own!

Banana Miso Crumble


  • 2 cups sliced banana

(Do not use the bananas you totally forgot about and have shoved in the freezer for smoothies. This is the place for a perfect freckled banana, firm but luscious, this is no place for limp, wan bananas.)

  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbs Red Miso
  • ¼ cup dark rum (or shooter of whatever rum if you don’t want to buy a whole bottle)
  • 2 Tbs dark brown sugar (you can sub maple sugar, date or coconut sugar)
  • ½ stick unsalted butter (if you do not use animal product sub nondairy butter or coconut oil)


  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 cup flour (if you are gluten free you can go straight oats or use a GF flour blend)
  • ¼ cup packed dark brown, preferably Muscovado sugar (again you can sub maple sugar, date or coconut sugar)
  • ¼ cup white sugar (I like this for texture…if you don’t do sugar leave it out)
  • 1 big pinch flaky salt
  • ½ stick of cold unsalted butter- cut in small cubes (can sub non-dairy butter)

How to Make It:

  1. Toss the bananas in the lime juice.
  2. In small saucepan melt ½ stick butter, miso, brown sugar and rum over low-to-medium heat. When it starts to bubble turn it off.
  3. Let cool slightly then pour over the bananas.
  4. Toss/stir to coat them put in an ovenproof dish, a gratin dish is perfect.
  5. In a clean bowl, add oats, flour, sugars and flaky salt whisk them together.
  6. Using your fingers (if you have hot hands run them under cold water for a bit) work the butter in to the oat mixture—you want to coat it with butter—really get it there firm but gentle, rub it, oh yes, just……like……that.
  7. Tumble the topping over top of the bananas…and hold in the fridge until ready to bake.
  8. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 -25 minutes.
  9. Serve warm with dollops of softly-whipped, barely-sweetened cream, whipped coconut cream, vanilla or salted caramel ice cream or iced ”cream”. Crème fraiche or mascarpone would also work, so would whipped sour cream or yogurt just barely sweetened and with a splash of vanilla or rum.

Additions: No one will be mad if you add a handful of chocolate chunks (milk would be best even though…yeah, I know dark chocolate is so good for you), a dollop of Nutella, peanut butter or almond butter, or candied ginger to the bananas…adding some toasted pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts or red skinned peanuts to the topping.

BITE: Post Pandemic Party People. By Ali Waks Adams

“Bite” is a new, ongoing column by Ali Waks Adams, a chef and pop-up producer from NYC, living life the way it should be in Maine.

A bunch of friends are finally coming over to hang out in person—in real time. I’ve been cleaning for…I think a month. There were bras and candy wrappers in the couch cushions, spiders in the corners and quite possibly we found an extra cat that we didn’t know about.

There are several people whose bottom faces I cannot wait to see and so, so many hugs I am dying to give and I am excited to feed all of them. I am a food = love person, I was born that way, raised that way and have the therapy bills to back it up. It is my mission to feed people and to feed them to the best of my considerable (if I don’t say so myself) abilities.

Planning a menu is like putting together an outfit: You need the basics, then you figure out the combinations and add accessories. A concert tee and tulle skirt works, just like peanut butter braised chicken wings work—but maybe not for every occasion.

My theme for this soiree is a sort of European tapas bar vibe. I think we’ve all had just enough warm, soft, fatty comfort’s time for vegetable crunchiness, spice and crispiness, juicy and colorful and maybe a little bit challenging, unexpected. We need lots of flowers, string lights and pitchers of cocktails and loud energetic music. I’ve designed this menu specifically to allow for easy prep—some dishes are store-bought ready. Easy and breezy…nothing that requires too many fiddly bits. One cocktail, a sparkling wine sangria (plus beer and sparkling water) and platters of lovely things that required very little cooking. The focus here is reconnecting with friends (and maybe a little focus on the Smoke Fish Dip, because it’s that damn good.)


Our Menu

Spanish Olives

Rustic Bread with Herb Olive Oil Dipping Sauce

Sparkling Sangria

Spanish Cheese Platter

Cabrales Blue, Manchego Cheese, Marcona almonds, Guava Paste (Membrillo), Blackberries, Dates, Chorizo + Rosales Rosemary Cracker + sourdough toasts

Smoked Fish Dip*

Steamed baby purple potatoes, string beans, halved jammy egg, endive spears, blanched purple cauliflower, red carrots, artichoke hearts & radishes


Have your Spanish olives and bread with dipping sauce waiting for your guests to arrive. You can buy all of this at your local store. If you choose to make your own dipping sauce, I would suggest pouring two cups of fine extra virgin olive oil in a bowl with Herbs de Provence, or picking an array of your favorite fresh herbs, if that’s how your garden grows.

Sparkling Sangria

Most of the time I am a classic drink kind of girl, I like a martini (Stoli, up dry, twist and olive on the side), a Rye Manhattan, glass of Scotch (Macs or Glens please, sherry aged if you have it, rocks on the side) a margarita maybe, a gin and tonic (half soda, half tonic, please and thank you), but I do enjoy things that are pink and sparkly and I also love a pitcher drink for a party…you can batch out the mixer and when it’s time to refill, anyone can just open a new bottle and pour in the mixers (okay, not anyone, we all have that friend but mostly anyone). Prep ahead of time and put it in the fridge so that it’s ready and waiting for your guests to arrive.

Here’s what you’ll need:

Sparkling Rosé – nothing too fancy, I like a cava

Elderflower liqueur

Rhubarb bitters

Fresh raspberries

Pour entire bottle into a pitcher, add ½ cup simple syrup (store-bought is fine), ½ cup elderflower and 16 dashes of bitters

Serve with bucket of ice cubes and a bowl of raspberries on the side

The Cheese Plate:

I suggest watching a couple videos online of people making fancy cheese plates and make this beautiful. Place the bowl of our lovely dip on the side of a big platter (with a damp bit of paper towel or paper bag underneath so it doesn’t slide) and pile the veg up next to the bowl in a potato pile, a quartered egg pile, a radish pile…etc. Look for the expected veg in a different color if you can find it…purple potatoes, red carrots, red endive, yellow wax beans, hot pink watermelon radishes—a lot of these can be found at local farmers’ markets, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes. It will keep at least a week in the fridge.

Smoked Fish Dip

This is one of those godsend recipes…easy to throw together at the last minute, super yummy and pretty easy, and it works with almost anything,even if all you have is half a box of club crackers that’ll do just fine, heck even cut up toasted English muffins would work (and may be the next genius level crostini—keep an eye out for that recipe).

If you don’t do smoked fish…fret not, I’ve added two options: A smoky meaty one and a vegetarian one at the end.


  • 8 oz (about half a pound) smoked trout (or smoked salmon or drained cans of mackerel, tuna, sardines, shrimp, oysters – you can also mix it up)
  • ½ cup finely minced shallots
  • 4 oz unsalted butter (cultured nut butter will work if you don’t do dairy)
  • 4 oz cream cheese (or tofu cream cheese)
  • Couple drops hot sauce – I like Tabasco for this
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • Zest from one lemon
  • ¼ cup capers- drained
  • ½ cup chopped fresh dill
  • Flaky sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Minced fresh chives for garnish (chive blossoms if you can find them!)
  • FANCY Garnishes – Trout or salmon roe + chive blossoms, caviar is also an option

How to make it:

  1. Remove any skin and bones from the fish and mash it up with a fork
  2. Place butter, cream cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, hot sauce, salt & pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer (or you can just whisk it by hand, which by the way is kind of cardio)
  3. Whip on medium high speed till fluffy
  4. Fold in capers, shallots, fish & dill till fully combined
  5. Taste & adjust seasonings if necessary
  6. Scoop into a wide bowl
  7. Top with minced chives, roe, chive blossoms and a few bits of flaky sea salt when ready to serve

If you hate smoked fish, but like smoky meats, replace the smoked fish with chopped smoked bacon, replace the lemon with red wine vinegar, and the capers with diced pickled jalapeno.

If you don’t eat animals, replace the fish with a tablespoon of miso, a half a cup of crushed smoked almonds, and replace capers with chopped, roasted red peppers and add 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar.

P.S. Makes a FAB omelet filling for day-after breakfast and is also very good on a bagel.

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