Sunday, November 2, 2014

Welcome our guest Hank Phillippi Ryan!!

Hank is the on-air investigative reporter for Boston's NBC affiliate. She's won 32 EMMYs, 12 Edward R. Murrow awards and dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism. A bestselling author of seven mystery novels, Hank has won multiple prestigious awards for her crime fiction: three Agathas, the Anthony, Daphne, Macavity, and for THE OTHER WOMAN, the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. National reviews have called her a "master at crafting suspenseful mysteries" and "a superb and gifted storyteller." Her 2013 novel, THE WRONG GIRL, has the extraordinary honor of winning the Agatha Award for Best Contemporary Novel and the Daphne Award for Mainstream Mystery/Suspense, and is a seven-week Boston Globe bestseller. Her newest hardcover, TRUTH BE TOLD, is a Library Journal Editor’s Pick and RT Book Reviews Top Pick, with starred reviews from Booklist and from Library Journal, which raves, “Drop everything and binge read!” She's a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime.

Thanksgiving Solution!

Thanksgiving is coming! (You don’t need me to remind you, I know.) Every time I think of Thanksgiving, I think of my mom. She taught us that turkey was best if it was dry, not juicy. Seriously. I grew up thinking that juicy turkey was undercooked.

At our Thanksgiving table, you’d hear—“Oh, yum, Mom, this turkey is great, it’s really dry.”

Good going, mom. Fooled us all these years. (I still prefer dry turkey. But that is another blog.)

TRUTH BE TOLD, there’s no such thing as a holiday for a reporter, so the last time Jane Ryland (the lead character in my latest series) sat down to a fabulous holiday dinner is—well, never.  I know the feeling. As a reporter for the last 40 years, I’m often working on Thanksgiving, so all I get are the leftovers.

However! Making something out of nothing is the hallmark of a good reporter—as well as a good story-teller. And in this case, it’s especially wonderful if the “nothing” includes wine and fresh mushrooms. And leftovers.

First, get the leftovers from a roast turkey. (Okay, I know this may be a problem. If you’re doing Thanksgiving, it’s easy. If not, get some turkey. But it can’t be sliced deli turkey. It’s got to be authentic turkey that a real person actually cooked.)

Then, read this recipe all the way through before you start because its success depends on doing several things at the same time--and having the ingredients prepped and the utensils ready to go. It sounds a little more complicated than it actually is, and the first time I made it I burst out laughing--it looked like I had used every pan I owned. Now I've made it so often I don't even need the recipe anymore!

You can use more or less pasta and mushrooms and turkey--it doesn't really matter. An added bonus--your kitchen will smell fantastic while this is cooking.

This serves about 6-8 people-- and reheats beautifully. This is so delicious and decadent, we look forward to this just as much as our holiday turkey.

And read to the end for a special MLK only giveaway!

 Turkey Tetrazzini ala Hank

*1 pound mushrooms
*1/4 to ½ pound spaghetti or macaroni
*two or three cups shredded cooked white meat turkey (leftover from your holiday turkey!)
*3 Tablespoons butter, plus three more tablespoons butter
*I clove chopped garlic
*3 Tablespoons flour
*2 cups chicken broth
*1 cup heated whipping cream (fat-free half and half will also work)
*3 Tablespoons dry white wine
*salt and pepper
* grated Parmesan cheese.


Preheat the oven to 375.

*1 pound sliced mushrooms
 Saute' in butter and chopped garlic...keep warm, while at the same time you

*1/4 to ½ pound spaghetti or macaroni.

While this is cooking,
Take the leftover meat from your holiday turkey--shred it so you have
*two or three cups shredded turkey
(I like just using white meat--but it works with dark too)

Set aside in a bowl large enough to allow you to add to it.

Okay, I know this sounds complicated, but at the same time you're going to make a sauce:

*3 Tablespoons butter
Sprinkle with
*3 Tablespoons flour
Stir to make a paste, then add  (a little at a time…)
*2 cups chicken broth
Allow to thicken...this will take about 15 minutes.

Remove from heat, then stir in
*1 cup heated whipping cream (fat-free half and half will also work)
*3 Tablespoons dry white wine
*salt and pepper

**Drain the pasta, put it back into the pan and mix in the sautéed mushrooms. Add one half of the sauce to this mixture.

**Add the other half of the sauce to the bowl of shredded turkey.

**Put the pasta and mushroom mixture in a greased baking dish. Make a hole in the center, and

**put the turkey/sauce mixture in the middle.

**Sprinkle the top with
* grated Parmesan cheese.

Bake till lightly browned and cooked least 20 minutes.

SO delicious! You will not believe it. So--make a lot.

HANK: Well, now I’m hungry. But do you have any turkey secrets? Leave a comment..and you’ll be entered to win the Hank book of your choice: THE OTHER WOMAN, THE WRONG GIRL, or TRUTH BE TOLD! Remember to leave your email address so Hank can contact you if you win.

Visit Hank online at, on Twitter @HankPRyan and Facebook at

Here's a teaser for:

TRUTH BE TOLD begins with an all-too-familiar tragedy in today’s headlines: a middle-class family evicted from their home in the suburbs of Boston. In digging up the facts on this heartbreaking story—and on other foreclosures—reporter Jane Ryland soon learns the truth behind a big-bucks scheme and the surprising players who will stop at nothing, including murder, to keep their goal a secret.

Boston police detective Jake Brogan may have a liar on his hands. A man has confessed to the Lilac Sunday killing, a long-unsolved murder that haunted Brogan’s police-commissioner grandfather. While Jake’s colleagues take the confessor at his word, Jake is not so sure.

In the meantime, Ryland and Brogan’s paths are once-again intertwined—and as their private relationship heats up, it may mean difficulties in their professional lives.

Financial manipulation, the terror of foreclosures, the power of numbers, the primal need for home and family and love… What happens when everything you believe is true turns out to be a lie?


  1. Welcome Hank! that sounds delicious--and you always make cooking seem easy:) xo

  2. Good to see you here! Leftovers are a wonderful thing--oh, the possibilities! My family had slightly different issues cooking a turkey. It was always (every year!) either not cooked enough or overcooked. And that was with both my mother and grandmother watching it like hawks and poking it regularly. There is no such thing as a perfect turkey! It's a myth.

  3. My husband smokes a lot of turkeys, using directions given to him over 30 years ago from a family friend who was a gourmet cook. He butters a piece of bread and cuts it in four pieces, plus adds a quartered apple and a quartered onion, and puts all this in the cavity before he starts cooking it. It isn't exactly stuffed, as there is still room inside the bird, but the result is a perfectly cooked and juicy bird, whether it's smoked or cooked in the oven.

    If we have stuffing, it's the kind from the box, which my kids like.

  4. Sheila, opening the oven and prodding the turkey is not conducive to a perfect turkey! It's better to put a sheet of foil over the bird, and leave it alone for about 80% of the cooking time, then remove the foil and let it brown, without opening the oven again.

  5. Welcome Hank! Thanks for stopping by Mystery Lovers' Kitchen today. This dish is our favorite post-Thanksgiving Day meal! Of course in true Gourmet De-Lite fashion, I had to figure out how to take some of the calories out but I bet your version is even yummier! I also layer the turkey/pasta but next time I'm trying your method. Either way I am really looking forward to it!

  6. Pat ( 2, 2014 at 10:22 AM

    That sounds really yummy, Hank! My husband wants his leftover turkey as is. No casseroles, no anything. Just there where he can make sandwiches. BORING....

  7. The best part of turkey is leftovers! My husband even likes it as leftovers and he doesn't like the turkey dinner itself. I even make turkey hash with the potatoes, gravy, vegetables from the dinner---just add a little onion. Now I'm hungry for turkey----be sure to buy extra birds when they are on sale to put in the freezer for later.

  8. Your turkey sounds delectable. We slice up the cold turkey very thin and then have it as a panini with roasted veggies. Love it. elliotbencan(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. I was brought up on dry turkey, also. As a result if there is juicy white meat my reaction is...ew! Dry white turkey meat plus gravy is just right. Your Tetrazzini sounds delicious.

  10. White turkey with juices would be perfect since that is our preference. Tetrazzini is unique and special. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  11. I keep wanting to try some heritage breed turkey. It's supposed to have lots of flavor (but not "gamey"). But the price is daunting.
    libbydodd at comcast dot net

  12. Up until this year I had jobs requiring me to work major holidays. I worked nights or evenings, so would go to a friend's house before for the meal, or when I moved back closer to my parents we'd have the full meal on whatever day off I had closest to the holiday.

    Honestly, I've never cooked a turkey myself, since it's just me at home. If I want one my secret would be getting a meal already cooked by Wegman's (our grocery store)!

    cozyupwithkathy at gmail dot com

  13. We always throw the bones in the freezer for a pot of soup.
    sgiden at Verizon dot net

  14. I love dry turkey and eat only the white meat so this a perfect recipe for me. Makes me want to go cook a turkey right now and just turn the whole thing into leftovers. This series sounds very good

  15. Thanks for the recipe! We're always looking for ways to use the leftover turkey. My husband cooks the turkey for the holidays, so I dn't have many tips. I do know in the past few years he bought the turkey peces separately so when the breast was done it could be taken ut and wouldn't get dry waiting for the legs to cook.

  16. I don't have any turkey secrets. Thanks for sharing your recipe. I love turkey tetrazzini but haven't had it in years. Love it when I am moved to get out of a cooking rut.

  17. Running in, running in! Wow, have I had a day! I had an event HOURS away, and it started to SNOW! So we wondered--are they going to cancel? They didn't! And I didn't want to let anyone down, so we left early and slogged toward the library--maybe people would show up and I didn't want to disappoint them--and the snow started to get worse, and finally I got a call in the car saying--yikes! We have power outages ...Go home! So we turned around and drove home..and here I am.

  18. SO, reading all your wonderful comments. And yay for all my dry turkey sisters! Isn't that hilarious? Turkey is the funniest thing..

  19. ANd truly,I think the myth of turkey is that it's difficult to make I don't think it is! Key to remember--TAKE OUT that weird stuff that they hide inside. Gizzards and whatever. Gourmet cooks do things with it. And I do things with it, too--I throw it away. (Don't tell.) If you leave that pouch in, it SERIOUSLY affects the cooking time. And do not ask me how I know this.

    1. Hank, great suggestion. I remember leaving those in one year and trying to figure out what the "plastic" smell was! LOL. My mother used to boil them and chop up all the giblets, then add to the gravy. She told me they were mushrooms so I wouldn't think, "ick."

      Love your cover. I'm really enjoying the series.

      Daryl / Avery

  20. But poking and prodding is a problem--I agree. I melt a whole bunch of butter, then soak several layers of cheesecloth in it. The I draped the buttery cheesecloth over the turkey. Put it in the preheated oven, .and LEAVE IT alone . Is';t it--twenty minutes a pound? I slather more butter on it every 40 minutes or so. It comes out gorgeously golden.

  21. I make Turkey Tetrazzini the day after Thanksgiving every year. Love it. It is a great thing to do with the leftovers, besides sandwiches. I also like my turnkey a little dry. Every other member of the family does not.

  22. Coming from the country where we have not had turkey meat available to us, or do not celebrate Thanksgiving, I adapted my chicken on the beer bottle recipe for Thanksgiving celebration in the USA =) The meat tastes awesome, comes out nicely golden and cooks faster than the turkey.
    (tatiana_lwg (at) )

  23. I use butter and baste it a lot. Someone told me they drape their turkey in bacon and bake it that way. I tried that and all I wound up with was soggy bacon. Thank you for this awesome giveaway!

  24. According to cooking genius Alton Brown, opening and closing the oven, even to baste, just lowers the temperature of the oven. Since he said that on his show, I no longer feel guilty for leaving the turkey alone, except for turning it once. And I cook a lot of turkey! We *never* have leftovers, though. I wish we did. Your Tetrazzini sounds wonderful! Glad that you're back safe and sound, Hank.

  25. The recipe sounds delicious. One of our favorite things to do is make sandwiches of leftover turkey, stuffing, and cranberry sauce on Thanksgiving night but it's always great to have a new leftover recipe. Oh, and I really enjoyed The Wrong Girl. I'm looking forward to reading more of your books. Thanks!

  26. No turkey secrets - we like to make walnut cranberry turkey salad sandwiches with the leftovers.

    jtcgc at yahoo dot com

  27. That is one of my favorites, which I learned in Home Ec in hight school 50 years ago. I am sure the addition of white wine will make it even tastier. Turkey secret is to toss an onion inside instead of stuffing. Make that in separate pan. Bobbipad at

  28. And some day can we talk about "convection"? We just got a new over, and I am terrified to use it. So funny--I had my turkey temp down pat in my old oven--but now, I have to learn this one's quirks. Dare I make a turkey?

  29. I have no secrets to contribute but I do love to use leftover turkey, mushroom soup, noodles and plenty of cheese to make an easy casserole. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
    cps1950 At gmail dot com

  30. And that picture of turkey Tetrazzini doesn't look like mine--it was just he best photo I could find. Mine uses only white cheese. And it's so gorgeously golden brown. YUM! SOmetimes its tempting to take it out before it's browned, because it smells SO GOOD. But try to wait--the crispy chewy cheese is so worth it.

  31. My mom made the best dry turkey...consistently every year! Thanks for sharing the recipe. No secrets - just get through it the best we can.
    Tennisace50 @

  32. For all the juicy turkey lovers, cook the bird upside down. I messed up one year and it was the best Turkey I ever made. Now my family reminds me to put the bird in upside down.

  33. I also cook the turkey upside down. My family loves the left over turkey warmed up in the left over dressing.

  34. Anonymous