Chuck Wagon Casserole

In which I put on some chaps

With these old recipes, there are occasions where the recipe is just non-specific enough that it allows for me to interpret something in a slightly different way.  Sometimes this is as easy as in the Apple Marmalade where I chose to use blood oranges instead of a regular seeded orange.  Sometimes it requires switching out types of mustard.  A lot of recipes call for the addition of prepared mustard.  I am sure that the original intention was to use basic yellow mustard.  That’s boring.  Not only do we have a friend that has a mustard fridge and has done mustard judging, but when we went to the Mustard Festival at the Mustard Museum the kids won 8 bottles of mustard from Koop’s and French’s.  Not one of those mustard’s was plain yellow.  However, in this recipe, because of the title, we had no mustard more appropriate to use than Giddy Up mustard.  I mean, right?  It fits the theme.DSCN2678As long as we are going there, let’s get a good picture of this recipe.  Imagine you are a cowboy.  You have been driving cows down the range.  You are hot, you are tired and dusty.  The sun is now setting, the cows are lowing as they eat sweet meadow grass.  You may hear the trickle of a stream.  If you weren’t bow-legged, your chaps would swish softly as you walked.  Instead, you hear a small jangle of your spurs and the wail of a harmonica as you walk to the chuck wagon.  Your tin plate is in your hand and old Cooky glops something onto it.  More than likely it’s a lot like this dish.  (Ok, probably not, I think I heard stories about the amount of beans that were eaten, but just go with it for the sake of the story.)

This rice-based casserole sort of reminds me of something like chili.  The molasses provides a deep richness.  I chopped the olives up super fine because at least one of the kids still claims to hate them and they’ve never been John’s favorite.  I found that I needed to add some water that the recipe didn’t call for in order to cook the rice all the way.  I might’ve had slightly better luck if I wasn’t still missing the lid to my Dutch oven.  I may just have to break down and buy a new one some day, but I’m not quite ready for that kind of upgrade yet.  DSCN2680The best thing about casseroles is that they are infinitely adaptable.  We might’ve added some chipotle powder to ours.  We might’ve added some ancho pepper to it.  There is a possibility that we put some cheese in it and maybe some french fried onions on top and served it with optional sour cream…For all of the additions that we might’ve made, I am still pretty sure the best choice we made was the addition of something more than plain yellow mustard.

Chuck Wagon CasseroleComing up next:  Groovy Teen Bars

6 thoughts on “Chuck Wagon Casserole”

  1. And the consences was? It sounds good to me but pretty spicy for the time and place. I think that your additions would make it more to my liking at this time of my life. I can even make this in my kitchenette.

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