André 3000 isn't just the wizard of guest verses. The OutKast MC eats his vegetables, too. Last week, Dre jotted down his favorite kale recipe for Bon Appetit's Back of the Napkin series, saying he "fell in love" with the chewy, leafy green and all the nutrients it carries.
He raps, he sings, he acts, and now, turns out he cooks! Listen, this man is magic. If he can do that to a Ke$ha song, just think what he can do to a couple heads of vitamin-rich cabbage. So, naturally, we had to put his recipe to the test.
SPIN headed down to our nearest Whole Foods (because where else is Stacks going to get his soy-free margarine?) and rustled up as many of the ingredients as we could find. In the end, we had ourselves two heads of organic rape kale, some chopped garlic cloves, and more coconut oil than any human being could ever need — that is, unless they really, really, really like Mr. Benjamin's recipe.
The mention of Herbamare brand seasoning drew more than a few blank stares from employees, so instead, we subbed some onion powder, salt and extra pepper. We figured André is used to people changing the rules anyway. Stacks probably pairs this dish with quinoa, but we had to draw the health line somewhere, so we enjoyed it with with rice and chicken. We did, however, skew that on the bar-b.
Stuff Dre Doesn't Tell You:
1. Make sure you're ripping the kale into bite-sized pieces.
2. Don't use a plastic measuring spoon to scrape out enough coconut oil (turns out, it comes as a solid...whoops).
3. Add kale to the steaming pot in shifts, then stir, so as to (a) let it shrink a little, and (b) get all them leaves cooked equally.
4. Make sure the frying pan you're using to sautée the stuff is big enough. Two heads of kale is a LOT of food.
5. Two heads of kale makes enough green to buy a Benz. Or, you know, just feed a family of 6 or 7.
A Few Reviews from Our Staff of Critics:
"Thought the cayenne powder murk'd the natural flavor at first, but halfway through the spice fell back and it was all good."
"More Big Boi than André — with that coconut oil and margarine, it's got a lot of low-end."
"Practically Waka Flocka levels of bravado compared to ?uestlove's kale recipe. Delicious, sure, but almost feel like cheating to get there."
"I'm not mad at it, but my wife's from North Carolina and her recipe is more southernplayalistic.""Better than The Love Below."
Difficulty: 10 (If you can boil water and use a salt shaker, we promise you'll be fine.)
Health: 7 (The kale is great, but with the margarine and oil....dude, that is a lot of saturated fat.)
Cost: 5 (Soy-free margarine runs about $5, and don't even get us started on the $9 jar of coconut oil. But hey, that's what we get for following a multi-millionaire rapper's recipe.)
Overall Deliciousness: 7.5 (The cayenne pepper gives it a good zing, but otherwise, it was more or less just kale. Plus, we felt a little betrayed, post-tasting, when we discovered the fat count in the margarine and coconut oil.)