El Paso Man Writes Cookbook Featuring Last Meals of Death Row Inmates
Knowing these people were sentenced to death row and they would have last meals, I became intrigued with recreating that into a style of my own.
El Paso resident Jesse Maynes is hoping you have an appreciation for the eccentric things in life. Specifically, the nefarious content of his upcoming cookbook, The Last Supper, about the last meals of murderers on death row.
Sound a little creepy? It is, but it's also surprisingly captivating.
Maynes grew up in El Paso and began cooking at an early age. His father, who worked Caldarella's Restaurant Supply, was the inspiration for Jesse's interest in cooking. As a child, accompanying his father to work launched Jesse's interest in the culinary world. Coupled with his fascination of serial killers, his cooking hobby evolved into a passion for the peculiar world of last meals.
While I was pursuing my hobby in cooking, I also took up a fondness to horror-themed stuff, like movies, books, comics, and music. I really fell for a movie called American Psycho. It deals a lot with fine dining and restaurants being a staple to everyday life, in its own twisted, morbid kind of way. Along with the fascination in the fictitious side of it all, I started getting into like serial killer culture. Learning about different ones, and their childhoods. So knowing these people were sentenced to death row and they would have last meals, I became intrigued with recreating that into a style of my own.
With each entry into the cookbook, Maynes details the murderer, the crime, and the last meal, taking basic inmate requests like pepperoni pizza and transforming them into culinary delights no common inmate could possibly imagine.
November of 1989 - August 1990; Florida & Louisiana. Danny Rolling killed 8 people. Confessing to the raping and killing of 5 students, followed by a triple homicide in Louisiana. He died on October 25th by lethal injection.
His last meal was Lobster Tail, Butterflied Shrimp, and a Baked Potato
The Gainsville Ripper: Lobster & Shrimp Roll w/ an Herb Caramelized Onion Mayo
Caramelized Onion Mayonnaise
Oven at 400
2 sweet onion peeled and halved
2 cups Mayonnaise
1/2 T Parsley
1/2 T Basil
salt/pepper to taste
drizzle of olive oil
Place the halved and peeled onion, face down, in a foil covered baking sheet drizzled with olive oil. Let bake until a deep golden brown color occurs, soft centers, turn over half way through cooking. When finished, let cool to room temperature. Add to a blender and puree with the mayo and herbs. Salt/pepper to taste. Refrigerate.
1 Fresh Lobster
1/2 lb fresh shrimp, peeled and de-veined
2 lemons, zested and juices reserved
1 stalk of celery, finely diced
1 T Worcestershire
salt/pepper to taste
Caramelized Onion Mayonnaise (roughly 1 cup) to taste
green onion, sliced into thin rings
Steam the lobster until flesh is cooked and shell is pink in a large stock pot, roughly 15 minutes. Remove lobster and set aside, next throw in the shrimp and steam as well until a light pink color and flesh is cooked through, roughly 3-4 minutes. Remove lobster meat from shell and rough chop it, same with the shrimp. Mix in a bowl with the celery, lemon zest, Worcestershire, and Mayonnaise. Serve on a toasted Pretzel Roll and top with the green onions. Side of sweet potato fries for accompaniment.
Maynes is optimistic about his peculiar endeavor.
I personally believe people will give this an honest chance, just like myself, people love the esoteric side of the world. The grotesque and weird with a touch of class seems to catch the attention people. I guess based on the same idea of a "freak show." People want to experience the weirdness, especially if it's done well and in environment that isn't intimidating.
William George Bonin, "The Freeway Killer"
Serial killer and sex offender from Southern California who tortured and killed dozens of boys and young men. Suspected of committing another 15 murders. Received his nickname because his bodies were usually found under freeways. Death by lethal injection in 1996.
Last meal request was two pepperoni and sausage pizzas.
"The Freeway Killer"
Fig, Pancetta, & Red Onion Pizza topped with Feta & Basil
2 Fresh Figs, sliced lengthwise
1 piece of Naan Bread
1/2 Red Onion, sliced, set aside
3/4 c Pancetta; cubed; cooked until crispy
Fresh Mozzarella, cut into rounds, enough to cover the bread to your liking
1/2 c crumbled Feta
2 T Butter
1 T Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 450. Using a nonstick pan, crisp to pancetta with a medium/high heat, remove and leave left over drippings in pan. Reduce heat to low, add oil and butter. Allow to mix evenly then add your onions. Leave a few on the side to add right before it goes in the oven. Cook the onions until they are soft and have become translucent.While onions are cooking, prepare your naan bread with the rounds of fresh mozzarella evenly, don't pile on and overlap the cheese, it will melt and spread. Place cooked onion with all liquid in the pan over the mozzarella, spread evenly. Do so carefully, it may still be hot. Evenly place the raw fresh figs over the pizza surface. Top with extra raw red onion slices, just a few for color since the rest of the onion was cooked down. Finish off with a even sprinkle of Feta. Place in the oven and cook for roughly 8-12 minutes until cheese is melted and Feta is browning on top. Enjoy with a spring of fresh basil on top.
It's completely gratuitous and certainly sadistic, but it would make one hell of a coffee table conversation starter and, frankly, the recipes sound delicious. Currently, Maynes is raising funds to cover the cost of creating and publishing the book. You can contribute to his fundraiser here.