Manhattan Murder Mystery is one of Woody Allen’s funniest movies – it’s filled with classic Woody Allen one-liners, a healthy balance of comedy and crime, and humorous and easy banter between Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. In this 1993 film, Woody Allen is a book editor named Larry Lipton who is married to Carol, a free spirit who is open to trying new things. Carol becomes suspicious when their neighbor’s wife dies, and she wants to investigate to find out if it was her neighbor who killed his wife. Larry, in the typical Woody Allen way, doesn’t want to leave his apartment. Ultimately, the two start looking further into what happened, with a couple of friends joining in along the way.
Woody Allen’s films are always packed with one-liners that usually prompt laughing out loud. One subtle line in particular is when he casually says, “Here, taste my tuna casserole and tell if I put in too much hot fudge.” It was this one line that inspired me to make tuna casserole from scratch, without any hot fudge, of course.
This homemade tuna casserole is comforting, filling, and loaded with flavor. You’re going to help yourself to seconds and thirds. I used fresh ingredients such as mushroom, onion, celery, and milk instead of using canned soup as a base. Even though the tuna casserole is made from scratch, it doesn’t take more than an hour and a half to make. Super doable with plenty of time to watch Woody Allen and Diane Keaton humorously solve a crime.
Homemade Tuna Casserole
2 ½ tablespoons butter
1 package of medium egg noodles
½ medium onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, chopped
8 ounces baby Bella mushrooms, sliced thin
¼ cup milk or cream
12 ounces of chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
2 (6 ounce) cans of tuna, drained (preferably tuna soaking in water, not vegetable oil)
1 ½ cups of cheddar cheese
1 slice of bread, crumbled
Salt and pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a medium casserole baking dish with butter.
2. Boil a large pot of water for the egg noodles. Cook for 5-7 minutes until al dente – these noodles cook fairly quickly. Drain and set aside.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium skillet over medium-low heat. Brown mushrooms – place thinly sliced baby Bella mushrooms in pan, making sure the mushrooms are spread out enough so that the entire side is touching the heated skillet.
4. Add in onion and celery and cook for 8 minutes until soft and translucent. Once softened, remove from skillet and transfer to another bowl. Set aside for now.
5. In the same skillet, add chicken broth and cream. Mix together over medium-low heat until the sauce boils. Let sauce boil for about 4 minutes. This will help pull the flavor from the mushrooms that were previously browning on the skillet.
6. Add mushroom, celery, and onion back into skillet. Add peas and tuna to the skillet and mix everything together until well combined. Sprinkle salt and pepper over skillet for taste. Add 1 tablespoon of butter and mix.
7. Add the drained egg noodles into the skillet. Stir.
8. Pour the mixture from the skillet into the buttered casserole dish.
9. In a small skillet, melt ½ tablespoon of butter and tear the bread into pieces. Let the bread crumbs soak up the butter and crisp on low heat.
10. While the bread is crisping, add cheddar cheese on top of the casserole.
11. For the final touch, top the casserole with the buttered crisp bread crumbs.
12. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Eat, watch, and enjoy!
© A Dash of Cinema
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Food Images by Lauren Jessen; Film Stills of Manhattan Murder Mystery shots from Sony Pictures Entertainment