Sunday, January 20, 2013

Comment to win MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT: The New Clueless Cook Mystery from Liz Lipperman

Please welcome author Liz Lipperman to the Kitchen! Liz writes a delightful series of cozies called The Clueless Cook Mysteries, and she's hosting a contest for us today. 

Answer her question (below the recipe) by leaving a comment, and you will be entered in the giveaway of her new release, MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT. It's a terrific read, and she'll tell you more about it. Now here's Liz...

~ Cleo

I’m beginning to feel like a regular on Mystery Lovers Kitchen, thanks to Cleo Coyle and the wonderful writers here who invite me back every time I have a new release. 

Yep! It’s that time again, and MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT is the third book of the Clueless Cook series. So far it’s getting great reviews — knock on wood. 

As usual, I’ve included ten recipes from the story in the back of the book. One of the subplots centers around an entrepreneur judging the Caribbean Cook-off with my girl, Jordan. The character has made his fortune selling alcoholic desserts, such as Kahlúa Brownies and Crème de Cocoa Peanut Butter Fudge

I thought about posting one of these recipes, but decided on a personal favorite of mine — King Ranch Chicken (or Pollo de la Hacienda del Rey to the good people of Ranchero, Texas).

The gist of the series is that my girl, who can’t cook a lick, ends up as the culinary reporter for the local newspaper. She and her gang of misfits from the apartment building have concocted a scheme where she uses a casserole recipe in her column, slaps on a fancy name, and passes it off as a gourmet dish. 

But no matter what she calls it, King Ranch Chicken is yummy and will satisfy any spicy craving you may have. There’s also a recipe in the book for Grilled Halibut Caribbean Style with Pineapple and Mango Salsa, plucked right from the personal files of Chef Maciek Kucharewic. He was one of the wonderful chefs on board the Celebrity Caribbean cruise I took for research (yeah, right!!) who helped me plot this murder. But like Jordan, I don’t eat much fish and have never made it. If any of you would like to have the recipe, send me your email address and I’ll get it to you. 

But before the recipe, 
here’s a little teaser for...


A sports writing job would have been the perfect catch for Jordan McAllister, but in Ranchero, Texas, all she could reel in was the food column. Though she may not know her way around a kitchen, she has no trouble finding herself in a kettle of fish…

Tempted by the offer of a free Caribbean cruise, Jordan accepts a spot as a judge in a week-long big-time cooking competition aboard the Carnation Queen. She just better hope no one finds out that her famous palate is far from refined. 

But there are bigger fish to fry when arrogant chef Stefano Mancini falls face first into his signature halibut dish during the first event. While evidence suggests that the handsome Italian chef’s death was an accident, Jordan thinks otherwise. But she’ll have to keep her wits about her—and the sea sickness pills handy—if she’s going to solve this one… 

Read another excerpt by clicking here.

Hope that tickled your curiosity bone. 
Now, here’s the fabulous recipe
right out of my own personal recipe files. 

~ Liz

from Liz Lipperman


12-13 soft corn tortillas

1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth

4 tablespoons butter

1 cup chopped onion

½ teaspoon minced garlic

1 (16oz) container sliced mushrooms

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 (16oz) container FF sour cream

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies

1 package (1.0 ounce) taco seasoning

3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast (approximately 3 large breasts

Non fat cooking spray

24 ounces of Colby/ Monterey Jack cheese mixed

Directions: Preheat over to 350° F. Place the tortillas in the chicken broth for 10 minutes (Do not cook). In a large skillet sauté onion, garlic, mushrooms and green pepper in the butter. Add the sour cream, flour, and corn starch, heating until smooth and bubbly. Add the tomatoes, taco seasoning and the chicken and mix well. Spray a 9 x 11 casserole dish with a non-fat cooking spray. Cut the tortillas into 6 pieces each. Use ½ the tortillas, followed by ½ the chicken mix, and ½ the cheese mix. Salt and pepper each layer. Repeat, ending with cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

CLEO: That looks delicious, Liz, especially with all that bubbly melted cheese.

LIZ: Hope you enjoy it as much as I do. I’ll be glad to send the recipes for the boozy desserts, too, if any of you want them—or you can just buy MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT and get them all at one time!! Shameless plug. Sorry. 

CLEO: Plug away, Liz. We love to hear about new releases in the Kitchen. Especially on Guest Post Sunday. 

LIZ: Anyway, since this is a blog about food and the book is about a cruise, I thought it would be fun to have you guys comment on the best thing you remember about the food onboard a cruise ship. 

For those of you who haven’t been fortunate enough to cruise yet, just tell me something fun/delicious/scary about food in general. Some lucky commenter will receive a copy of MURDER FOR THE HALIBUT from Berkley Prime Crime (US only at their request.) 

Thanks again, Liz! To find out more about
Liz and her books, 
visit her website
by clicking here.

Comment-to-Win Contest
will be open until
11:30 PM (Eastern time),
Monday evening, 1/21.

Winner announced
here Monday at 11:45 PM.


  1. The book sounds amazing, and the recipe sounds delicious! I have not been lucky enough to be on a cruise ship...but I'm hoping to do that soon! My best friend and I want to go on a cruise together. :) Thanks for the giveaway!

    1. Brooke, I just saw an ad on TV last night that said cruises are 65% off right now. So, get your fiend and book one. You can get a 7 day cruise out of Galveston usually in Jan and Feb. for under $400 for a 7-day cruise. And they are well worth it. Just the food alone...

      Thanks for commenting.

  2. I loved trying new to me things. The food I want to taste but would never order (and pay for) because I didn't know if I'd like it! Oh, and on one of them, the cold (fruit) soup was so good I had it for dessert!

    oh great, now I'm hungry!

    I really enjoyed the first book, Liver Let Die, but haven't gotten the next two...yet :-) I'll need to buy book two if I win book three!

    1. Book Dragon, that's the beauty of cruises. That's what's so amazing. I am more like my heroine than I like to admit, and won't try new stuff, either. I always get a wonderful waiter on board (You keep the same one the entire time,) and by the last few days, he knows he can talk me into anything with the promise of more desserts at the end.

      Here's hoping you only have to spring for one book!!

  3. I think Chocolate desserts are delicious,...! I cant make them too much because Im tempted to eat the entire cake, or brownies, or cookies....( or pie.. )

    I have this series on my "to be read" list, and Im anxious to read them!

    1. Thanks, Melissa. For some reason I'm not a big chocolate eater. (I know--am I female??) I prefer less rich desserts like Strawberry Shortcake and Mandarin Orange Cake (recipe in Liver Let Die.) But I have tried this fudge, and all I can say is OMG!!!I'm a huge peanut butter fan. I've had Kahlua bundt cake and the brownies are next on my to-try list. Thanks for commenting.

  4. This book sounds great! I'm adding it to my " to read" list.

    1. Maybe you'll win it, Erika!~! Thanks for commenting.

  5. That sounds delicious Liz, and so does the book! I love the cover--and I've spotted a familiar name on the front quote:). Hope your fans gobble this one up!

    ps I'm not entering the contest as I am one of the MLK family, but I will never forget the bread pudding with vanilla cream on top on the Windstar cruise we took...

    1. Thanks, Lucy/Roberta. Yum! Now that's the kind of dessert I like. Not too rich. Or was it? I had my first taste of creme broulee on a cruise. OMG!!

  6. I love your series and can't wait to see what Jordan and the gang are up too. Food is fun so sometimes on the weekend I like to play my own version of Chopped or Iron Chef. I go to the fridge and pantry and pull out whatever I happen to have an see what new dinner I can come up with. Sometimes the family is not thrilled with my efforts but occasionally I come up with a new meal that we would like to have again. At least I cleaned out the fridge a little in the process.

    1. Susie, you're a woman after my heart. I like to go to a restaurant and order my favorite casserole, then bring home half of it in a doggy bag. (Yeah, like the dog is ever gonna get it!!) Anyway, I play with it until I come up with a recipe that's pretty darn close or better!! Chicken Stir Fry (In Halibut) is one such recipe, and there are a few more. Hope you'll try it.

      And BTW, if any of you want any of the recipes I talk about, just send your email address to

  7. The recipe sounds wonderful and so does the book. I've never been on a cruise, but long ago before I became a librarian I used to work for The Texas Restaurant Association. I enjoyed it whenever the local chapters would have their Taste of the Town events. There were so many wonderful foods to try.

    1. Booklady, yum gotta love those Texas recipes. Most of the casseroles in my books have RoTels or something to spice them up. Thanks for commenting.

  8. Can't wait to try your chicken dish. Looks so cheesy. Love cheese.
    My favorite food memories on the curise I took was you could find food 24-7. But the bread and ice sculptures on the midnight buffet were beautiful.

    1. Ah, yes, I had forgotten about those. Like my heroine, I loved that hamburgers and chili dogs were available all day long. And like you said, room service 24/7 is free.

      Now you got me itching to go on another cruise.

  9. Liz, I ache for you. The research you do for authenticity is simply amazing. Imagine going on a cruise just to do research. How you sacrifice for your readers. (Psst, next time, take me along!)

    Your chicken dish is beautiful. Bet everyone loves it, too.

    Cleo, I'm so sorry but while I remember some cruises, I don't remember any of the food!

    ~ Krista

    1. It's a tough life, Krista, but someone has to do it............

      The readers here don't know that I took a Caribbean cruise last year and sat with 4 of the head chefs as we plotted this murder at a coffee shop. I don't even want to tell you about the horrified look on the other passengers who were having a nice Cappuccino moment and listening to us figure out how to kill a cruise passenger with food!!

  10. I also am not a big fish fan, though I do like halibut. My favorite memories of cruise food were all the varied cream soups, but I haven't been on a cruise in almost 20 years so my tastes might have changed.

    1. Another woman after my heart. I hate fish, unless it's battered and fried!! I am Catholic and grew up with fried fish sandwiches from the local beer joint on Fridays.

      And Sue, did you see my note about how cruises are severely discounted right now? Pack your bag and hop on a ship. I'll bet the cream soups have only gotten better.

  11. Liz, sounds fun. This recipe is just like my mom's chicken tortilla recipe, one of my all-time favorites. Love all the melted cheese! Yum!

    Wishing smooth sailing with your new release!

    Best, Avery (aka Daryl)

    1. Did you grow up in a city with a large Hispanic population, Avery/Daryl? Here in Texas, I have access to some of the best Mexican food around. Matter of fact, I already have plans for book 6 in the Clueless Cook series to be Enchi-Lada Bodies and have all Mexican recipes in the back. Can you tell it's my favoitte kind of food?

      Thanks for the good wishes. Back atcha for your release next month.

  12. I can't wait to read this book-and get the boozy recipes, although this chicken one sounds great. I don't like seafood, I always say the only thing I eat that swims in the sea is duck! I've never been on a cruise, although a friend of mine was an entertainer on a cruise ship for 2 years. What's scary about food in general?...The fact that I'm eating too much of the wrong things!

    1. Katreader, did you know that the first book in this series, LIVER LET DIE, centers around duck??

      And I hear you about eating too much of the wrong things. I have decided that after trying all the fad diets known to man, I am simply trying to do portion control and eat healthier.

      Thanks for commenting.

    2. I couldn't believe Jordan didn't know about fois gras! Loved (and own)Liver Let Die! Look forward to reading this latest adventure.