It's ooey and cheesy. It's the John Wayne casserole.
Interesting name, right? Well the origin and dish are just as interesting.
The John Wayne Casserole History:
This casserole was indeed named by the John Wayne, popular western actor and filmmaker. "Wayne directly contributed the recipe to a 1979 cookbook titled, "Cooking with Love from Cara and Her Friends", compiled by a Cara Connery."
10-year-old Cara Connery began a cookbook passion project after she experienced her relative members passing away from cancer. In efforts to raise awareness and money for the American Cancer Society, Connery and her mother wrote to famous people to submit recipes. This was the 70s, so obtaining addresses was much easier. Her mother also contributed any additional expenses to self-publish the book.
Connery went on to write two volumes and a children's cookbook. The John Wayne recipe made it into her first volume, along with recipes from presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. Wayne's recipe was just a simple egg and casserole dish.
The John Wayne Casserole Recipe:
You should know that the exact first recipe of this dish is unknown. And today, there are many variations of it. But whatever recipe you pull up (hopefully the one below sounds tasty enough for you), this casserole isn't meant to be taken lightly. It may be high on cholesterol, but it's the ultimate comfort food.
This southwestern dish incorporates all the flavors of the south. It even calls for biscuits. Though there's many ingredients to it, the casserole is pretty fast to whip up for a weeknight meal at only 1 hour and 20 minutes for total time. Just ask Amanda from Amanda's Cooking, the creator of the one below.
The first step is making the base with the biscuits. You can follow the instructions of any store brought can of biscuit mix dough (as well as specifics on Amanda's blog), but essentially you want to push it all together and up the sides of the pan before throwing it in the oven. Preheat oven beforehand.
While that's baking, you can prep the beef and veggies. (You can definitely substitute with green bell peppers, diced tomatoes and green chilies flavor preference.) Cook the brown ground beef with the taco seasoning and water, and place into a bowl. Using that same pan, saute half of the onions and all of the bell peppers until tender.
You then want to combine the sour cream, mayonnaise, half of the cheddar cheese, and rest of the onions in a bowl. This will created your "sour cream mixture."
The last step is to build up the casserole and bake uncovered for 30 or so minutes. The order of the ingredients is as follows: biscuit base, taco meat, tomato slices, bell pepper and onion mixture, jalapeno peppers, sour cream mixture and the remaining cheese. The total cook time should come out to around 40 minutes.
Enjoy and let us know in the comments how it turned out.