In 2013, Guy Fieri published his second Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives cookbook and a show called Guy’s Family Cruise (?!) was on the air. That same year, 2 Chainz released his second album, which came packaged (physically or digitally) with the cookbook #Meal Time.
As fans of the Georgia-based rapper can imagine, 2 Chainz has a unique kitchen perspective — and it’s epic. Below is a snippet of the book’s intro.
“KEEP IN MIND, ALL MEASUREMENTS ARE AT THE DISCRETION OF YOUR PALETTE. AS WE ALL KNOW, SOME PEOPLE HAVE A LOT OF FLAVOR, WHILE OTHERS ENJOY THEIR FOOD AND THEIR LIFESTYLE A LITTLE MORE SUBTLE (BORING). ALSO KEEP IN MIND THAT THESE RECIPES ARE INTENDED TO BE MADE AT 70 MPH WHEN YOU’RE ON A TOUR BUS, SO EXACT MEASUREMENTS CAN’T ALWAYS BE ACCOMMODATED.”
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It’s freakin’ amazing, and once we realized he liked to cook (albeit 5 years late), we knew we needed to try one of his recipes. We started with crab cakes, and compared them to a chef everyone is much more familiar with: Guy Fieri.
2 CHAINZ’S RECIPE
First things first: 2 Chainz wants you to make his recipe in a room “surrounded by a handful of TVs playing SportsCenter with the sound off.” On mute because you should be playing his song “Used To” on repeat.
Next, you’re to mix lump crab meat with eggs, Old Bay seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, green scallion (what other colors scallions exist, we’re not sure), mayo, Dijon mustard, Italian bread crumbs, lemon juice, and olive oil. You’re then supposed to “knead mixture” and taste it with “your 24-karat gold spoon. OKAY, 2 Chainz.
The crab cakes get baked (and basted) in a full stick of butter — a process we have deep respect for — and are served with his mango salsa.
* Test kitchen note: We found this mixture much too loose to form into patties, so we added an extra 1/4 cup of bread crumbs. (There was only 1/4 cup to begin with.)
Guy’s recipe also bakes in the oven, but the crab cakes themselves are very different. They’re HUGE. He calls for 2 pounds of crab meat (to feed 4 to 6 people) and asks you to buy both jumbo lump crab meat (which should be easy to find) and backfin crab meat (which is much harder to do). If you think this is unnecessary, as we did, just go with lump.
Also in the cakes: eggs, lemon (zest and juice), mayo, Old Bay, hot sauce, and crushed Ritz, instead of bread crumbs. As for the sauce, Guy takes a more traditional approach and makes a remoulade with mayo, capers, chives, pickle juice, creole mustard, Old Bay, and more lemon juice and zest.
* Test kitchen note: In a 400° oven, the crab cakes took way longer than 8 minutes to turn golden underneath, as his recipe instructs. We recommend preheating the skillet in the oven to help speed the searing.
Taste testers — who had no idea how annoying Guy’s crab cakes were to get as golden and beautiful as they were — voted for the Food Network star. Turns out, people want traditional crab cakes — “none of that hoity toity mango sh*t,” explained one video editor, who happens to be a big fan of 2 Chainz.
To be honest, I wanted 2 Chainz to win, and I thought he should’ve. Guy’s recipe was good and classic (if you ignore the major instructional flaws) but the butter in 2 Chains’z turns the crab cakes slightly nutty and gives them the most addictive crust. So what if we had to tweak the recipe itself slightly? We weren’t on a moving tour bus as he was when he developed it. He warned us about that!
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