Crime fiction dishes for Thanksgiving dinner


Thanksgiving is in just seven days, and plans for your feast are probably well under way. While “crime fiction” and “Thanksgiving” might not seem to go hand in hand, the mystery/thriller actually a rich history of food – from poisoned puddings to pumpkin pies. Spice things up this Thanksgiving and pay homage to some of your favorite thrillers with these fun and delicious crime fiction dishes!

It’s a little tongue in cheek, but fans of hardboiled crime fiction will get a kick out of a platter of deviled eggs on the Thanksgiving table. Hard boil 12 eggs in boiling water for 8 minutes; then remove the shells and cut the eggs in half lengthwise. Combine the yolks with ½ cup of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon each of mustard and white vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste. Finish with a sprinkling of paprika to turn up the heat – a touch any hardboiled detective would appreciate.

If you joined Lou Mason or Alex Stone for Thanksgiving dinner, you may find grilled turkey on the menu. Kansas City is barbeque heaven, and nothing is off limits – not even the Thanksgiving bird! Whether you rub yours down in spices or slather it in Kansas City barbeque sauce, plan to grill a 10-15 pound turkey for 2 to 3 hours before presenting this delicious crime fiction dish as evidence…of your fantastic cooking skills!

One of the most favorite dishes from crime fiction comes from Thomas Harris’ suspense thriller Silence of the Lambs. Who could forget creepy Hannibal Lechter’s confession of enjoying his victim’s liver with some fava beans? Skip the liver, but serve up your own fantastic favas by boil one pound of fava beans until tender, about 2 minutes. Drain the bean and toss with olive oil and sea salt, adding a generous grating of parmesan or pecorino cheese just before serving – with Chianti, of course.

Finish your meal with a killer pumpkin pie recipe from Rex Stout’s cookbook, featuring recipes beloved by his gourmand detective Nero Wolfe. To make Nero Wolfe’s pumpkin pie, beat 4 large eggs and combine them with: 2 cups pureed pumpkin;1 cup each of brown sugar and light cream; 1 Tablespoon molasses;1 teaspoon each of salt, cinnamon and ginger; and 1/4 teaspoon each of ground cloves and nutmeg. Pour the mixture into a premade pie crust and bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 375 and bake for 30-40 minutes until done. Serve it just as Nero would have – with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Whether you’re hosting Friendsgiving for your crime fiction book club – or you just need your own inside joke to get through your family’s Thanksgiving gathering, these delicious crime fiction dishes deserve a spot on any table. Happy Thanksgiving!