Sporting a t-shirt from Austin’s own Mean-Eyed Cat, Matthew McConaughey completed a Texan rite of passage on the season premiere episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives when he tried King Ranch casserole for the first time.
The actor drove his 1981 Chevy Camaro Z28 to his meeting with Food Network’s Guy Fieri at the Monument Cafe in Georgetown. The host, who drives a late-60s model Camaro, was smitten with McConaughy’s ride and teased viewers with the possibility of a classic car race. This gave McConaughey a chance to channel his inner Wooderson saying, “Blow the doors completely off Melba Toast,” a reference to the Chevy Chevelle his character drove in Dazed and Confused.
In true Fieri style, the host provided emphatic, meticulous narration as Monument Cafe owner Rusty Winkstern prepared the native dish. McConaughey mostly hung back and watched patiently. Winkstern combined the ingredients for the roux–which included onions, bell peppers, “Cumino” (aka cumin), and Rotel tomatoes and green chili–as he explained that the dish was originally made “to feed the ranch hands down at the King Ranch in South Texas.” Winkstern then moved on to building the casserole, a term some of the diners and Fieri questioned.
“I don’t know if the word ‘casserole’ completely works.” Fieri said.
“Enchilada stack or something?” suggested Winkerstern.
“Caschilada,” McConaughey declared. A reasonable compromise for the Tex-Mex twist on a casserole.
The chef, raised on a farm in West New York, offered the only “Lone Star local” (as Fieri put it) on the screen a chance to add to his discussion on the fact that “everyone in Texas” has their own recipe for the dish. “Did you grow up on it?” Winkstern asked McConaughey.
“No, my mom was not a good cook,” he answered before looking into the camera and saying, “sorry Mom, you know you weren’t.”
Watch a clip from the show here: