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NYT Cooking: One-Pan Roasted Fish With Cherry Tomatoes

From Linda Hillman, board member 2008-2022: "I am a big fan of roasted vegetables, but recently I have discovered and fallen in love with roasted cherry tomatoes. This is a wonderful, easy recipe that combines roasted tomatoes, shallots, garlic and more with fish. I’ve made it with salmon, halibut, swordfish and haddock. Always delicious and as I said before—quick and easy.


Enjoy. "

Andrew Purcell for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Barrett Washburne.


Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

  • ½ cup thinly sliced shallots (about 1 large)

  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic (about 2 large cloves)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing

  • 1 tablespoon sherry or red wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

  • ½ teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste

  • 4 (6-ounce) skin-on mild white fish fillets, such as cod or halibut

  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest (from about ½ lemon)

  • Chopped fresh basil, for serving

  • Chopped fresh mint, for serving



Step 1

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the tomatoes, shallots and garlic in a 9-by-13-inch nonreactive baking dish. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Pour over the tomatoes and toss to combine. Roast until the tomatoes have collapsed and the shallots are translucent, about 15 minutes.

Step 2

While the tomatoes roast, pat the fish dry with paper towels, brush all over with olive oil, and season generously with salt and pepper.


Step 3

Toss the tomatoes, move them to the sides of the dish and place the fish fillets, evenly spaced, in the center. Roast until the fish is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork, 10 to 12 minutes.


Step 4

Sprinkle the entire dish with the lemon zest, basil and mint. Serve the fish with the tomatoes, spooning any remaining juices on top.



peanut butter and pickle sandwich (pb&p)

From syd island, Deceleration Lab artist: "this sandwich is my go to delicious and easy lunch food. u can make one for a *skeptical* friend and surprise them w/ a *funky treat* :) "


  • sliced bread

  • peanut butter

  • sambal oelek or sriracha

  • dill pickle sandwich stackers

  • kimchi

optional: mini cucumbers, arugula, spinach, carrots


syd island


toast 2 pieces of yr favorite sliced bread

spread generous amounts of peanut butter to both sides (preference for natural chunky) 

add some sambal oelek or sriracha on top of one side w pb and spread it out evenly

place a layer of dill pickle sandwich stackers 

place a layer of kimchi

add optional fresh veg for some vitamins: sliced mini cucumber (the cucumber redundancy w the pickle is noted!), arugula, spinach, julienned carrots (none of these r necessary but it’s nice to have at least one additional veg!) 

throw the 2nd slice of bread on top and cut the sandwich on the diagonal into triangle halves

enjoy :)


Deceleration Lab 2022: Andy Boyd, syd island & Philip Santos Schaffer



  • 1 genderless 18th-century American mystic/utopianist

  • Add original hyperpop score to taste

  • Stir until it erupts into a spontaneous dance party


An acoustic hyperpop folk opera about gender, celebrity, belief, and slander exploring the life of Publick Universal Friend (PUF), a gender-nonconforming American mystic. Sifting thru second-hand sources to highlight questions of queer history while problematizing the American vision of utopia, the performance aims to invoke a temporary genderless/genderful? utopia with the audience…even if just for a second.


Blackout Cake

From David Milch, chair of The Assembly's board: "Being a chocoholic, if I’m going to make something it is the incredibly rich and decadent (and for those of us New York Jews of a certain age, Proustian), chocolate blackout cake."

If you don't know, a Blackout Cake is layers of dark chocolate cake with dark chocolate frosting; the outside of the frosted cake is covered with more cake that has been crumbled. This is a large, rich creation that should handily serve 12 people, and it's quite dense and moist. Three layers of cake are split to make six, with the sixth layer crumbled for the outside of the cake. This manages to look down-home and fancy simultaneously, and would be a good choice for a party. 

The cake layers are easy, and they may be made a day ahead if you wish, or farther ahead and frozen. You'll need 9 inch layer pans, and they MUST be 2 inches deep; you'll also need a candy thermometer for the frosting. The completed cake will keep in the refrigerator for a few days, if tightly wrapped, and it can be frozen very successfully (thaw, still in wrappings, in the refrigerator). 


(ingredients listed are per layer)

  • 1 cup buttermilk

  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 1¼ cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar

  • ⅓ cup unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder

  • 1 tsp. baking soda

  • Pinch salt

  • 1 egg, graded "large", beaten to mix

  • 1 tsp. vanilla 


  • 6 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, chopped

  • 3 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped

  • 14 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into chunks

  • 5 eggs, graded "large"

  • 1 cup plus 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar

  • Pinch salt

  • ⅓ cup pulp-free orange juice, preferably fresh-squeezed

  • 3 Tbsp. water 

Blackout Cake.JPG

I mean...come on!


For Cake: You'll need three layers, or three times the recipe given. If you have only two 9 inch layer pans that are 2 inches deep, you may want to make two layers the night before you assemble the cake. Adjust rack to center of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease pans with solid vegetable shortening. Line bottoms with wax paper cut to fit, grease paper, and dust the entire inside lightly with flour, knocking out any excess. Set aside. 

In small, heavy-bottomed, nonreactive pot, combine buttermilk and butter. Place over low heat, stirring often, until butter is melted. Set aside to cool to lukewarm. 

Meanwhile, sift flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into medium bowl. When buttermilk mixture is lukewarm, add it to the beaten egg and vanilla; with fork, beat to mix well. All at once, add liquid to sifted dry ingredients. With whisk, stir until dry ingredients are moistened, then beat briskly until well-mixed and smooth (a few small lumps are OK). Batter will be thin. Pour into prepared pan. Holding pan with both hands, tilt slightly so that batter runs up sides of pan a bit. From a height of about 3 inches above a flat surface, drop filled pan three times (this helps to distribute air bubbles evenly--don't hold the pan too high above the flat surface!). 

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center emerges with a few moist crumbs still clinging to it. Do not overbake. Cool in pan 10 to 15 minutes. Gently loosen cake from edges of pan; invert onto cooling rack. Gently peel wax paper from bottom of layer, then re-invert to cool right side up. Cool completely before frosting or storing. 

For Frosting: In large, heatproof bowl, combine chopped chocolates and butter. Set over simmering water on low heat (water should not touch bottom of bowl). Stir frequently until melted and smooth. Remove from heat and hot water; set aside near stovetop. 

In one quart heavy-bottomed, nonreactive saucepan, combine eggs, sugar, and salt. By hand, beat thoroughly to combine well. Add orange juice, then water, beating to mix after each addition. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture registers 170 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Immediately remove from heat. 

Quickly strain about one-quarter of hot egg mixture into melted chocolate mixture and whisk well to combine. Gradually strain remaining hot egg mixture into chocolate mixture, whisking to mix after each addition. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl periodically with rubber spatula to ensure thorough blending. Cool slightly, then chill. Whisk occasionally until frosting begins to thicken, then scrape bowl sides and bottom with rubber spatula and whisk frequently until frosting is of spreading consistency. (Alternatively, place bowl of frosting into larger, shallower pan half full of ice and cold water. Whisk frequently; scrape bottom and sides of bowl often. This method is much quicker, but the frosting must be watched carefully, as it can harden before you know it.) When ready, frosting will have thickened considerably, and it will hold soft peaks (just like a meringue or whipped cream) when the whisk is lifted from it. 

Important note: while frosting chills (beforehand, if you're using the quick-chilling ice-and- water method), prepare the cake layers, as they should be ready for assembly when the frosting is. If necessary, trim tops of layers so they are flat. Using a large, sharp, serrated knife, carefully halve each layer horizontally (this will give you six thin layers). Use one thin layer, the top half of one of the original three you baked, to make the crumbs for the outside of the cake. To do this, pull the thin layer into very small pieces with a fork and/or your fingers (because the cake is so dense and moist, the resulting small pieces will look better than they would if you tried to actually crumble the cake). Place these very small pieces into a bowl, and cover airtight. Cover the remaining thin layers so they won't dry out. Get a serving plate ready; you'll need a plate with a flat portion in the center at least 9½ inches in diameter. 

When the frosting is ready, place a dab of it in the center of the serving plate. Place what was originally the top half of one of the three layers you baked, cut side up, onto the serving plate, on top of the dab of frosting. Spread about ½ cup of the frosting onto the cut surface, spreading it just to the edges. Place the bottom half of this original layer, cut side down, on top of the frosting, and spread it with another ½ cup of frosting, just to the edges. Repeat. At this point, you'll have one thin layer of cake left, the bottom half of one of the original three you baked. Place this, cut side down, on top of the cake. Press gently, and straighten the sides if necessary. Frost sides and top with remaining frosting. 

With your fingers, pick up some of the cake "crumbs" you made earlier. Flatten your hand so it's just slightly cupped, and pat crumbs onto the side of the cake. Some crumbs will fall onto the serving plate--that's OK, just pick them up and re-apply them. Put the crumbs on randomly, but spread them out as evenly as possible; the entire cake surface won't be covered with them. Save some crumbs to pat onto the top of the cake. Chill cake about 30 minutes. If necessary, use your hands to gently re-shape the sides. Chill until cold before covering tightly. Chill at least 2 hours before serving. 

To cut, you'll need a large, sharp knife. Cut thin slices, as this is quite rich. Store in refrigerator, tightly wrapped, for up to three days, or freeze. 

Yield: At least 12 servings!


Jack Squirrel Old Fashioned (Brian Bartels, Fedora, Manhattan)


From Nic Benacerraf, Assembly co-founder and board member: "I am including the recipe to my favorite old fashioned. It is now extinct, since Fedora (my favorite bar in the West Village) closed during COVID. Here’s hoping it will inspire people to make it for me. "

When Happing Cooking Hospitality reopened Fedora in a historic part of the West Village in January 2011, my mind was buzzing with cocktail ideas for the menu. At that time there were few Old Fashioneds on cocktail menues, and the only one I was inspired by was Damon Boelte's at Prime Meats in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, which was made with homemade seckel pear bitters grown in the restaurant's backyard. So I decided to try a variation with another uniqu bitters—pecan. When considering the name for this nut-infused variation, I couldn't help but think of the supper clubs from my Wisconsin heritage (for more on this, see The United States of Cocktails, page 163). The Black Squirrel Lounge is a supper club bar in my small hometown of Reedsburg, Wisconsin, beloved by my family as a sentimental destination for reunions and get-togethers. (reedsburg is famous for many things, but one of its notable highlights is having an unusually large black squirrel population.) I'm told I have ruined other Old Fashioneds for people because of this cocktail, but honestly, the day I folt I had created something special was when someone told me they got off a plane from a long flight, and took a cab directly to Fedora before dropping off their bags at home, because they missed the Black Squirrel. Nuts. — Brian Bartels

Old Fashioned 4.jpeg
  • 2 ounces Four Roses bourbon (or Maker's Mark, Jim Beam, or Buffalo Trace)

  • ¼ ouce Cherry Heering (or cherry liqueur)

  • ¼ ouce maple syrup

  • 3 dashes Miracle Mile Toasted Pecan bitters (Angostura is okay to substitute)

  • Garnish: orange peel


Stir the ingredients (except bitters) with ice in a mixing glass until chilled. Strain into a chilled rocks glass with fresh ice, top with the bitters, and express with the orange peel before garnishing.

Source: The United States of Cocktails: Recipes, Tales, and Traditions from All 50 States (and the District of Columbia) by Brian Bartels



MARX SISTERS: In Development

Mercury Store.jpg


  • A dash of vaudeville

  • A splash of feminism

  • A heaping spoonful of chaos

The Assembly with the Mercury Store acting company during our spring 2022 residency


THE MARX SISTERS interrogates our impulses for chaos and order by riffing on classic Marx Brothers movies and characters, reinventing those archetypes for today through the eyes of women. Helmed by co-artistic director Jess Chayes, THE MARX SISTERS merges the spectacle and physical comedy of a variety show with the vulnerability of the Assembly process to explore the socialization of women and the ways our jobs can drive us (animal) crackers.


Mushroom Stuffing

  • 1 medium onion, chopped

  • ​½ cup butter

  • ½ pound mushrooms, ground

  • 10 slices toasted bread, cubed (makes 5 cups)

  • 1 cup chopped celery

  • 2 tablespoons parsley

  • ½ teaspoon poultry seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

From Susan Bernfield, board member: "Well, I’m not much of a cooker, but every Thanksgiving since my mom died I’ve insisted on making her stuffing, the recipe for which only exists in an ancient cookbook entitled Thoughts for Buffets (note yellowed pages, spatters, peculiar accompaniments) which presents unusual challenges in that: few practical instructions (like how it eventually is cooked and at what temperature, guess they think I’m gonna throw it in a bird) or contemporary ones (cubed toast, huh! note post-it), so it doesn’t always come out, shall we say, but I’ve learned to improvise and last year it was boffo (note always cooked in her classic Dansk; 1977 springs eternal).



Saute onion until just golden in the butter; add mushrooms and cook 5 minutes. Toos remaining ingredients with the onions and mushrooms. USe as stuffing; do not pack this dressing tightly as it sweels. Serves 12.

Source: Thoughts for Buffets (Houghton Mifflin Publishing, 1958)


Deceleration Lab 2022: Soomi Kim


Ai Clancy in The Tank's 2022 Production of BODY THROUGH WHICH THE DREAM FLOWS .jpg

Ai Clancy and ensemble. Photo by Mari Eimas-Dietrich for The Tank.


  • Assemble 6 competitive gymnasts, ages 9-18

  • Allow to rise, tumble, cartwheel, handstand, rumble, and rise again

  • Stir in the USAG reckoning following the Dr. Larry Nassar scandal

  • Let stew

  • Garnish with a generous helping of Soomi's personal history as a competitor, choreographer, and coach


Wrestling with the pressures of training high-performing athletes and calls for cultural reform, Soomi Kim’s dance/acro-theater piece was created and performed with an ensemble of young gymnasts. Workshopped this summer in the New Ohio Theatre’s Ice Factory Festival, BODY premiered this fall with a three-week run at The Tank.


Pecan Tassies


From Ben Beckley, co-artistic director: "I got this recipe from Grammy (my maternal grandmother). It turns out she used this recipe from Southern Living, without the bourbon. (I always thought it was an original recipe!)"



  • ½ cup pecans

  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour


  • 1 large egg

  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

  • 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon bourbon, optional

  • ½ cup chopped pecans, toasted

pecan tassies.jpg

Photo: Micah A. Leal


Step 1

Make Dough: Place ½ cup pecans in a food processor and blitz until finely ground. Set aside. In a bowl, beat together butter and cream cheese until fully incorporated. Add flour and ground pecans and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Use your hands to press the dough into a solid mass. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Step 2

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 24-cup mini muffin pan with cooking spray. Scoop 1 tablespoon of dough into each muffin cup. Use your fingers to evenly press dough into the bottom and up the sides of each muffin cup. Transfer muffin tin to freezer while making the Filling.

Step 3

Make Filling: Whisk together egg, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, salt, and bourbon until sugar is dissolved and mixture is homogenous. Remove muffin tray from freezer. Place 1 teaspoon of chopped pecans in each of the muffin cups. Pour the Filling over the pecans until it almost completely fills the pastry cups. Bake until the filling has puffed and the pastry has lightly browned, 20 to 24 minutes. Allow to cool before removing pecan tassies from muffin pan with an offset spatula.



Instant Pot Rarebit Risotto


From Stephen Aubrey, co-artistic director, adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers to be less fussy & healthy.


  • 2 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 can of beer (I like a good IPA here)

  • 1.5 cups arborio rice

  • 3 cups chopped broccoli florets

  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

  • 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, chopped in half

  • salt and pepper


Photo: Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers



  1. Add the 2 cups stock, beer, and arborio rice to the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and “Pressure Cook” High Pressure for 8 minutes. Follow with a quick release when done.

  2. While risotto is cooking, steam broccoli.

  3. Once the pressure pin drops and you remove the lid of the Instant Pot, add mustard and cheese. Stir until blended. Mix in broccoli and tomatoes.

  4. Serve immediately with a healthy amount of pepper and a bit of salt.


IN CORPO: Our New Musical

Kitchen Sink WIP-93.jpg


  • 1 sprig Melville

  • 1 dollop Kafka

  • Add an astonishing number of electronic instruments

  • Simmer for 6 years

Angel Lin and Nate Weida, IN CORPO concert performance. Photo by Bjorn Bolinder


Co-conceived by acclaimed composer Nate Weida and Assembly co-artistic director Ben Beckley, IN CORPO features an innovative electro-pop, folk funk score and draws inspiration from Kafka’s The Castle and Melville’s “Bartleby the Scrivener” to examine how authoritarianism can transform people’s thoughts and behavior, and what they can do to resist. World premiere: June 2023!


Kitty Lou's French Pecan Pie


From Meredith Lucio, producing director: "According to Rita Lucio, this was David Buchanan's mom's recipe. Supposedly Mrs. Buchanan made it in such a way that, according to David, they always had to eat it with a spoon. This pic is the front and back of Grandma Karl's recipe card, in her own handwriting, September 14, 2015. (Happy birthday, Grandma!)"


  • 3 egg whites

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 22 Ritz crackers (broken)

  • 1 cup chopped pecans

Recpie cards.png

Beat egg whites till thick. Add sugar very slowly. Continue to beat till thick & glossy. Add vanilla, Ritz crackers, and pecans. Put mixture into 10” buttered pie pan. Bake at 300 for 30 min. Cool. Cover with Cool Whip or slightly sweetened whipped cream. Grate German chocolate over top & serve.

Fried Egg & Harissa Breakfast Sandwich

From Emily Caffery, artistic producer: "Thanks to my sister Celia for this recipe and many savory breakfasts!"

breakfast sandwich.jpg


  • 1-2 eggs

  • Harissa

  • Mayonnaise

  • Onions, plus additional veggies if you want!

  • Butter or cooking oil

  • Good bread

Add a small amount of butter or cooking oil to a frying pan on medium heat. Chop onions (and any extra veggies like summer squash or greens), add to pan, and cook until the onions become translucent and begin to brown. Fry one or two eggs on top of the onions. Toast a piece of good bread and spread with harissa and mayo. Once the eggs are cooked to preferred doneness, spatula them on top of the bread and eat immediately! Good morning!


New Recipe!

Sarah May Beckley-Chayes



  • Take 2 brilliant artists

  • Bake 9 months

  • Serve on a bed of loving collaborators & wacky theater-makers


Introducing Sarah May Beckley-Chayes, born September 18, 2022.

Jess, Ben, and SARAH!

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