These recipes are some favorites of Jacob Swann, the knife-wielding villain from my Lincoln Rhyme novel The Kill Room. Like Hannibal Lecter, Swann finds comfort away from the world of murder and mayhem by practicing his culinary skill. His ingredients, however, come from somewhat lower in the food chain than the good doctor’s.
For the following dishes, Mr. Swann prefers you to use sea salt, like Celtic, Hawaiian or gray. Pepper should be freshly ground. Oil should be extra virgin olive oil. Herbs should be fresh, not dried, and crushed or chopped fine. Regarding stocks, of course it’s best to make your own. But that’s quite time consuming, especially if the police are after you, so an acceptable alternative is to use canned broth in which you’ve simmered bones for several hours: split shank and knuckle bones in the case of beef and veal, and—for chicken—whole carcasses or leg and neck bones. Always strain before using.
The recipes are intended for four persons, unless otherwise noted, even if, in Mr. Swann’s case, not every guest can be counted on to survive to the dessert course.
*all photos by Jeffery Deaver