If you’re looking for fresh and unexpected recipes to wow your friends this summer, look no further than The Last O.G. Cookbook (for real) — it's chock-full of street-style recipes inspired by the TBS comedy starring Tracy Morgan and Tiffany Haddish.
The premise: Morgan’s O.G. character, Tray Barker, is an ex-con who returns home to find his ex married to someone else and raising his twins (both of whom he knew nothing about). To get his life back on track, Tray uses his gourmet prison food as a ladder to achieve his culinary dreams.
An ode to Brooklyn and black culture, the series touches on real issues with a comedic backdrop. The black community has a lasting history of making delicious meals out of unconventional ingredients and this book shows just that through imaginative recipes, each crowned with an equally wild name like “Paid NFull Oxtail,” “Heaven Bound Coconut Cake,” and “Snitches Get Ceviches.”
“This show is a movement, and it shows black people’s lives in a very real way,” said Morgan in the cookbook forward. “We’re lifting up the community by making them laugh but at the same time bringing awareness to the not-so-funny parts of life like drugs, prison, and re-adjusting to life on the outside.”
Find cultural tidbits of information on how to “garnish like a gangster,” playlists, tips for online dating, and the history of food inequality in addition to the recipes written by Nicole Taylor, author of The Uptown South Cookbook, and beautifully saturated photos by Noah Fecks.
You’ll love this book even if you haven’t had a chance to watch the show. Here’s a taste of some of the recipes you’ll find inside.
See which one of your friends is a real ride or die when they take a bite of this watermelon salad. It starts out so fresh and clean with that melon-mint brightness, then whoops your ass with a chile bite that’ll make anyone who wasn’t raised on a bottle of hot sauce really come out of their shell.
- To make the dressing: In a food processor, combine the carrot, onion, garlic, and chile and pulse into small pieces. Add the water, lemon juice, salt, and sugar and process to a puree. Stir in the vinegar and transfer the dressing to a jar or bottle.
- To make the salad: Cut the watermelon into cubes or triangles that would fit on a fork and arrange the watermelon on a platter. Crumble the queso fresco over the watermelon.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of dressing over the watermelon and serve the remaining dressing on the side. Garnish the salad with the mint and a drizzle of olive oil.
This salad is perfect for when you're craving something rich and creamy but are trying to eat healthier. It's especially great if you have some eggs hanging out in the back of your fridge that you need to put to good use.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, salt, pepper, and oil. Add the shallot and avocado and toss lightly.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Carefully lower the eggs into the water and boil for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs from the pot and peel under cold running water. Slice the eggs and set aside.
- Return the water in the same pot to a boil and place the chicken in it. Simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, until it is no longer pink and fully cooked (165°F). Drain, let the chicken cool, then thinly slice it.
- Spread out the lettuce on a platter or in two salad bowls, then add rows of hard-boiled egg, chicken, turkey bacon, tomatoes, blue cheese, radishes, avocado, and shallots.
- Drizzle with any remaining oil and vinegar from the vegetables and the ranch dressing and garnish with the chives.
- Whisk together the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl until fully incorporated. Stir in the buttermilk, mayonnaise, and mustard. Fold in the chives. Taste and add salt if needed.
- Refrigerate in a jar for up to two weeks. Shake the jar before using.
Fuego Watermelon Salad and All I Need Cobb Salad excerpted from The Last O.G. Cookbook: How to Get Mad Culinary Skills © 2019 by Turner Entertainment Networks, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.