When Bloggers Collaborate – Alice Cooper’s Funky Tuna Casserole

Disclaimer: I am British. I have never made a Tuna Casserole, I have never eaten a Tuna Casserole, I have never even SEEN a Tuna Casserole. Therefore, I have no idea what one might look like, taste like or BE like. Tuna Casseroles, before this week, were a mystery to me. Is Alice Cooper’s Tuna Casserole typical of the genre? I HAVE NO IDEA!

When Fritzi over at Movies Silently popped this recipe up on Twitter and asked if I fancied joining her in a cookalong, of COURSE I accepted! Not least because we had so much fun making the crazy entity that goes by the name of Julie Christie’s Holiday Salad.

But also, looking at Alice’s recipe, it’s got lots of things in it that I like (tuna, cashews, celery, onion…) plus it’s a real “chuck everything together and stick it in the oven” number. Perfect for a quick weeknight din dins.

Doesn’t that look appetizing?!

However, I did not realise that what we Brits think of as Chow Mein Noodles are not at all what the Americans think of as Chow Mein Noodles which you can get in a tin and are crispy.

Luckily Fritzi tipped me off to this and suggested I fry up my dried noodles in a bit of sesame oil. Which I did. I used these…

Before crispy noodles
Going in the oven

What was this like? I’m not really sure. It had a very strange texture. CRUNCHY. I think maybe this was because my chopped cashew nuts were left quite large, or maybe it was just the crispy noodles – should I have cooked them first before frying?

I THINK I liked it. It serves 5 and there is loads of it leftover so plenty of time to make my mind up – haha!

Will it freeze? I don’t think so. Methinks I shall be eating this for some time… Not like this chef!

When I first took on this challenge I had planned to watch Wayne’s World, which I haven’t seen for years, as Alice is in it.

But then, I stumbled upon the fact that Alice was also in The Snoop Sisters and I had never seen any of these and had wanted to for ages. I was very excited and grabbed me a copy of them on DVD from ye olde internete.

ALICE WAS GREAT.

Really watchable and totally charismatic. I absolutely LOVED The Snoop Sisters and am planning on writing something about it for the Murder, She Wrote cookbook, because its a precursor for sure.

Oooh, a quick plug for my upcoming cookalong while I think of it, everyone welcome!

As I was eating the tuna casserole I thought to myself, when movie stars or rock stars are asked by a book publisher or magazine writer for a recipe, they usually provide something that they really, really, really love. This is such an odd recipe I wondered if this was something that Alice ate when he was a kid and he loved it, and perhaps this is now a super comfort food for him. After The Snoop Sisters finished I did a bit of googling and lo and behold…

In an article written in 2010 about Alice Coopers very own eatery called Cooperstown

Alice is talking about his chefs and says, ” The funny thing was watching my mom in the kitchen teaching these guys how to make tuna noodle casserole. “Okay, here’s the noodles. You open up Campbell’s mushroom soup. Here’s the tuna.” They’re trying to add something in, and she goes, “No no no, it’s very simple. You’ve got to keep it simple.” The thing that makes tuna noodle casserole great is to keep it simple. Don’t add things to it. In the end, people will come in there and order ten of them and take them home and put them in the freezer because every once in a while they’ll have a craving for tuna noodle casserole.”

Finding this made me stupidly happy. Especially as I did indeed use Campbell’s mushroom soup for my version!

And I HAVE put some in the freezer, just in case I get a craving for some…

This recipe originally appeared in Cool Cooking: Recipes of Your Favorite Rock Stars published in 1972. I really want a copy, but the cheapest I can find online is £65.35…

Bring on the lottery win!

Fritzi and I are scheduling our reports on this dish to publish at exactly the same time – skip over to Movies Silently to see Fritzi’s take on it – I’ll add a specific link to her post when it’s up – it’s UP – here’s the link…

Aw look, you can almost imagine Alice as a movie star pin-up in his younger days right?!

10 Responses to When Bloggers Collaborate – Alice Cooper’s Funky Tuna Casserole

  1. Kate 1 May, 2019 at 5:48 pm #

    Oh! That is an odd Tuna Noodle. Maybe it’s a northern variant? They usually have cheese, the kind my mom always made was just box mac’n’cheese, tin of tuna, and peas (I add a little Parmesan to mine). I wonder what Alice’s mom would say if I told her her tuna noodle was too fancy?

    • Jenny 2 May, 2019 at 8:57 pm #

      Mmmmmm – cheese, yes!! I so wish we could get boxed mac’n’cheese here. Mac’n’cheese is another thing we know nothing of here in the UK, although you can get it in some American style diner type places here now. I think the closest I have ever got to making Mac’n’cheese was Jackie Cooper’s Curried Egg and Macaroni… I must try making it sometime. I know I have a Pearl Bailey recipe and her dishes are always FAB.

      I dare you to get in touch with Alice’s mom!

      Jx

  2. Fritzi Kramer 1 May, 2019 at 5:52 pm #

    Eeee! Love the factoid about baby Alice Cooper watching his mom make the casserole! He seems like such a sweetie. Thank you so much for joining me in this, we will definitely have to do another. 🙂

    • Jenny 2 May, 2019 at 8:59 pm #

      Yay Fritzi! It was so cute finding that factoid! This collaboratoin was sooooo much fun. I’ll keep my eyes peeled for something weird and 70s in my movie star cookbooks and we’ll definitely do another! There is so much I need to learn about American comfort food!

  3. Amanda 2 May, 2019 at 12:28 am #

    This is so funny. I love Alice Cooper so much and the thought of him making tuna casserole is so funny to me. My mom and grandma used to make this when I was growing up. Never heard of it with cashews, or chow mein noodles for that matter. Egg noodles, mushroom soup, tuna, frozen peas, some milk, and seasoning. The best thing to top it with is crushed potato chips.

    • Jenny 2 May, 2019 at 9:01 pm #

      Ooooh, crushed potato chips as a topping sounds fantastic!! I’ve heard about peas being a trad ingredient too. I feel like I should make another version with all the things folks who KNOW about tuna casseroles are telling me are trad! i definitely would go with the potato chips!

      Jx

  4. Hazel 2 May, 2019 at 6:41 am #

    I wonder what Helen Hayes made of Alice Cooper?! I’ve never heard of the Snoop Sisters (my main memory of her is in One of my Dinosaurs is Missing!)

    • Jenny 2 May, 2019 at 9:03 pm #

      HAZEL! FLASHBACK! I had totally forgotten about One of my Dinosaurs is Missing! ***goes immediately to ebay****

      I TOTALLY recommend The Snoop Sisters, it’s hilarious and Helen Hayes and Mildred Nantwick are superb.

  5. Mark Brisenden 2 May, 2019 at 12:48 pm #

    Excellent joint blog. Very much an American staple . Also encountered Tuna Melt on first trip to states. Used to make a version of this with my brother useing a Schwarz mix Pack! But used Pasta instead of noodles . Iiked it, but prefer Tuna Nicoise . Much check out Snoop Sisters not heard of . What a cast !

  6. Jenny 2 May, 2019 at 9:06 pm #

    Now Tuna Melt I totally understand! YUM!!! Tuna Nicoise too. YUM!!! But I also think I can definitely get into the idea of Tuna Casserole. But maybe without the crispy noodles!

    Let’s face it, I love tuna so whatever it’s mixed up with, I will eat it!

    Actually, thinking about it, in the early days of Silver Screen Suppers there was a rather good Cary Grant recipe involving tuna. I might have to revisit that…

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