Monthly Archives: February 2012

Dessert while intoxicated: Bananas Foster

By Joseph Shaul

I don’t drink frequently. I could fib and provide some reasonable justification based on expenditure or health, but the fact is, I’m just not very good at it. A stiff double is all it takes to make my face go bright red, and I find myself foot in mouth more often than the average contortionist. It’s not pretty.

Even worse is that when I drink, I inexplicably want to cook. It’s almost a compulsion. Of my repertoire, Bananas Foster is an tispy two AM favorite: The combination of readily available ingredients, ease of preparation, and enormous fireballs never fails to please. However, unless you have a lot of practice and keep a fire extinguisher next to the stove, you might want to first try this one sober.

The recipe:

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar (or 1 cup dark brown sugar, 1/2 cup white sugar)
2 Tbsp. corn syrup (optional; prevents crystallization, making this much easier to do when inebriated)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, unsalted
1/3 cup dark rum. Or, if you don’t have dark rum, substitute bourbon whiskey. If you don’t have bourbon whiskey, substitute whatever is handy.  (You’re drunk, right?)
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
4 bananas

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and butter in saucepan or wide skillet. Heat over medium flame until the mixture begins to visibly thicken, roughly  230F. Turn off the stove, and immediately pour liquor over the top, igniting with a lighter or match. Sprinkle spices over the top for optimal pyrotechnics (the cinnamon will produce vibrant sparks), and stir with a long wire whisk, taking care to distance hands from flame. After the fire extinguishes, add bananas sliced lengthwise and into quarters, coat with sauce and simmer until soft. Serve with ice cream.

The recipe is dead simple. The only real trick is retaining your eyebrows. .


The Burger Club

By Cailly Morris

In honor of Union South’s new menu, The Dish will take on the challenge of helping students pick the top burgers that will be added to the menu permanently. We call ourselves “The Burger Club” and we will be working our way through the menu to find the tastiest, juiciest, most unique burgers created at The Sett. This hearty new collection includes a Western Burger topped with BBQ sauce, cheddar cheese and onion rings, a Wisburger, stuffed with Bratwurst and cheddar cheese and topped with sauerkraut and swiss cheese, an Italian Burger, topped with marinara sauce and provolone cheese, and a Chili Burger, topped with Sett Chili, Cheddar cheese and Jalapenos. Our first challenge – The Chili Burger. Stay tuned for our review of this new Union creation.

Until then – check out the new burgers at The Sett and let us know what you think at

Happy Eating folks,

Cailly Morris, Editor in Chief

A Success for a Novice in Cooking

Last week, I decided to try my hand at cooking something other than grilled cheese, turkey & spinach sandwiches, cheesy vegetable-ridden omelets or pasta. If you’d ask my roommates, they would probably chuckle at the thought of me making anything other than the aforementioned dishes. However, to my pleasant surprise the cooking went quite well, although I was running around the kitchen trying to do seven things at once because I wasn’t quite sure how to strategically execute the cooking of an actual three-course meal. That knowledge will come with time and additional experience, they say! Fortunately, the end product received an A+ from those who consumed it (including me!). So, just what did this meal consist of? I decided to make baked salmon and a fantastic sauce, brown rice, sautéed vegetables and a great big colorful salad.

My grandma, who has more than 80 years of cooking experience, always tells me you must strictly follow a recipe when you are a novice in the realm of cooking, but I decided to try my hand at a little experimentation. Online I found a recipe for something called “Chive Tarragon Sauce,” and away I went! I loosely followed the recipe, but I also put my own spin on it, and it turned out to be quite delicious!

Here is the final concoction:

½ cup white wine

2/3 cup chopped fresh chives

3 sprigs of fresh tarragon leaves

1 Roma tomato, chopped

2 tablespoons of butter

Salt and black pepper, season to taste

Heat the wine in a medium-sized frying pan, and then add the chives and tarragon. After a minute or so, add in the butter, consistently stirring the concoction. Add the tomato as soon as the butter has melted, season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste and serve over salmon. This concoction’s prep time totals about 10 minutes, from the start of chopping the herbs and tomato to adding the last ingredient while the mixture is cooking on the stove top.

As for the salmon, I recommend baking two hand-sized (4’’x6’’) chunks of salmon at 350 degrees Fahrenheit in a small rectangular pan. Before you put it in the oven, grease the pan with soft butter, put three tablespoon-sized chunks of hard butter on the bottom of the pan and put four circular slices of lemon on top of each salmon fillet. My grandma said the key to a tasty salmon fillet is simplicity! Using your best judgment and/or previous cooking experience (I must say, even if you’re a novice like me, you can do it!), season the fish only minimally with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Now it is time to bake it! My grandma also told me the worst thing one could do is overcook salmon. So, I put the salmon in the oven for about 15 minutes and then checked to see if it “flaked nicely” when I put the fork in it. It didn’t, so I put it in for awhile longer, checking incessantly to make sure it didn’t look overcooked! Ultimately, the salmon was in the oven for about 20 minutes. The other dishes were quite easy to prepare, as I am an expert in salad preparation, which, I’d like to point out, does not involve a stove OR an oven!

So, for all you folks out there with a hidden knack for cooking, simply follow these instructions, or, if you feel so inclined, dare to experiment! Bon appétit!


Fish Fry, English Style

By: Chelsea Lawliss

Beer, cheese, and fish fry. This is the stereotypical Wisconsinite diet- and for good reason! In my humble opinion, nothing satiates the appetite like a Friday night fish fry and a good brewski. So when I went to London for the summer last year, you can imagine how tickled I was to see that the English love a good fish fry, too. However, as I quickly learned, fish fry actually translates to fish and chips (chips being what they call french fries on the other side of the Pond.)

It’s basically the same concept- battered, fried fish, fries, tartar sauce, and malt vinegar. However, there are a few very distinct differences between a Sconnie fish try and an English basket of fish and chips. The first of which, and of little consequence, is that a beer is called a pint. As far as I’m concerned, the English win this battle, as a pint is more than is generally served in our bars. The second difference is a little more…unique. Instead of the side of coleslaw that is normally served with a fish fry here in the States, you receive a side of pureed, or “mushy” peas. You heard me correctly. Mushy peas. I never did try them. Whether or not I missed out on some culinary masterpiece is an experience I’m okay with having forgone. The third difference, and the one I will never forget, is that some pubs in England serve their fish with the fishy skin still on! You can imagine how shocked I was when I took a huge bite of battered halibut and saw that its epidermis was still attached. I will spare you the visual of what happened next…

This is a snapshot of my order of fish and chips from one of my favorite pubs in London, the Prince of Teck. It was yummy delicious. Noticeably absent from the picture however, is the side of mushy peas; they were promptly removed from the plate.


The following documents my encounter with fish and chips from a whole-in-the-wall cafe nearby the London Tower. Let’s just say this was a slightly less pleasant experience.


Whether I’m in Madison or London, fish fry remains one of my favorite dishes. That is, as long as there are no signs of scaly remnants!

I’m that person

By: Chelsea Lawliss

My name is Chelsea and I’m a foodtographer. There. I’ve said it out loud. I’m that person. You know, the one who tries to nonchalantly snap photos of her meals before anyone starts staring. I can’t help it!

Don’t you just get that overwhelming feeling to capture the artistry of the way some dishes are presented? Don’t you just want to document the moment in time, because in just a few minutes the culinary masterpiece will be reduced to mush in your tummy?! Don’t you?!

Alas, maybe I am in the minority in this situation.

So, it is with this revelation that I begin my quest to share with you all of my foodtography experiences. As a sort of disclaimer, please excuse any shoddy quality photos. As far as I can tell, it is still socially frowned upon if one takes pictures of their food in public. So I must be discreet. And quick. I will do my best to give all the deets on the name of the entree, where it is created, how much it costs, my photography experience (i.e. if I get kicked out of a fancy restaurant, etc) and basically any other ramblings that come to mind.

Enjoy, fellow foodies.

Old Friends, Good Food

By: Cailly Morris


Cooking is a great excuse to gather old friends together and catch up. I hadn’t seen one of my best friends Nigel in a couple of weeks, so my roommate Theresa and I thought it would be a great idea to have him over and cook dinner together. But as usual, the hardest part of cooking in a group is deciding what you actually want to make.


Now, Theresa and I are big fans of tacos — in fact give us anything with cheese, sour cream and beef and we’ll devour it — but Nigel specifically wanted to stay away Mexican cuisine so it was back to the drawing board.


Typically when I go to look for a recipe I haven’t made before, I check out for some articles and advice on what to serve. For some reason this time around a three cheese risotto stood out. Theresa and I thought it would go great with hearty beef tenderloin.


We followed the recipe from pretty closely but we made a few changes.


First off — we didn’t have olive oil, so we substituted vegetable oil. No big change there. Then instead of using parmigiano-Reggiano, Romaino and Asiago cheese, we used a four-cheese blend mix (note: we also added about a ¼ cup more of cheese because let’s be honest…we love cheese).


For the beef — we aerated it and topped it with black pepper, rosemary and thyme. This is a great seasoning combination if you want just a hint of spice in your beef. We then cooked it for about 15 minutes at 450°, and then lowered it to 350° for another 30 minutes. Everyone’s ovens will be different, so the cooking time really varies. But typically, for medium rare beef, you want to cook it for 16-18 minutes at 350° per pound, after you have cooked it for the 15 minutes at 450°. Always use a cooking thermometer when you are cooking beef to make sure it is at the right internal temperature. Beef is usually served a little pink on the inside so it is difficult to tell when it is done, but if the internal temperature is at about 160° then you are good to go.


Try the recipe for yourself below!

Emeril’s Three Cheese Risotto Recipe Courtesy of Emeril Lagasse


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onions
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 pound Arborio rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Romaino cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Asigo cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives


In a large saute pan, over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Saute for 3 minutes, or until the onions are slightly soft. Add the stock and garlic. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 6 minutes. Add the rice and simmer for 18 minutes, stirring constantly, or until the mixture is creamy and bubbly. Add the butter, cream, cheese and chives. Re-season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 2 minutes and serve immediately.