The Gravy: In the Kitchen with Mystikal

The Gravy: In the Kitchen with Mystikal. Photo by Elsa Hahne.

The Gravy: In the Kitchen with Mystikal. Photo by Elsa Hahne.

“I do most of the morning cooking. I’m the breakfast chef. I grew up in New Orleans, Uptown, in the 12th ward, a block off of Louisiana and a block off of Tchoupitoulas. My mom cooked everything. Gumbo, all the traditional New Orleans cuisine; the red beans, the crawfish etouffee. She got down, from the macaroni and cheese to the pork chop. As a matter of fact, when I came home, that was the first meal I wanted—stuffed bell peppers, macaroni, pork chop and peas. When I came home from prison! That was my come-home meal right there. When I was gone, that was one of the things I was missing the most, my momma’s food. And my business partner, Guillotine, his mom cooks too. She cooks all the wild game, coon and rabbit and deer. She can cook one of your shoes and make it tender. For real.

Eating in prison was horrible. We used to eat in our locker; we called it eating in our box. You can go to the kitchen and get beans—again!—beans, beans, beans, and that deterred me from liking red beans. Red beans used to be one of my favorite dishes, but after eating red beans every day, I don’t want to see a red bean again.

I eat horrible. Fast food, but my favorite dish is seafood. I like crab legs, and shrimp. Crawfish, I tear them out the frame. If you eat crawfish with me, you’d better be a professional because you won’t eat many. Whoever eats the fastest eats the most. And if you’re being slow, peeling one shell at a time, I got five-eight-twenty on you right quick. Keep up!

We just did a crawfish boil for Snoop [Dogg]. Oh man, we did some crawfish. He’s got like a 33-man production team that he travels with, so we hooked him up. We did a few hundred pounds of crawfish, and they tore it up. Loved it. We seasoned it to perfection.

I’m working on my mixtape, Fish Grease. I’m calling it Fish Grease because it’s the prelude to my album, and before you put French fries in the grease, you’ve got to heat it up. I’ve got to heat the streets up, and the mixtape will do that for me. The fish is the protein for your body, and that’s the music. Analogy—exactly.

We’re expecting another baby this December and that’s another plate we’ve got to fill up. She’s a great mom. I cook mostly for her. She wants her eggs fried hard and her meats cooked well, and we’re straight up with that. She went through a water and lemon phase, so I got good at squeezing lemons. We had to get a lemon budget. I had to get a bottomless sack of lemons, every week.

I picked up a lot of cooking tips in prison too. Different little spices and things you can do to kick things up. Like honey, I never would have put no damn honey in my tuna fish. Ever! But man, that shit gives it a twist.

You make a little side dish, we call it a hookup. When you’re in prison and you want to eat, and you don’t want to go in the kitchen. You just say, “You want a hookup?,” “Yeah, let’s hook something up.” You get your refried beans, and every meal is going to have a ramen soup at the bottom of it. Whether you make a penitentiary lasagna or burritos or whatever it is you’re making, some kind of tuna hookup, barbecue beef hookup, sloppy joe kind of thing. All kinds of concoctions. Six years, I became one of the best hookup persons in there. Was pretty much a chef in there for my comrades.

Some of our meals were expensive, $20-$30. That’s a lot of food in prison. As long as you have some refried beans, some beef sticks, you’re ready. Get yourself a few soups, and the macaroni and cheese is going down. We have a microwave and a microwave is all we need. That’s our heat source and we run with it. You’ve got to be like Robin Caruso [sic]—you’ve got to improvise! I became a coffee drinker in prison. The way I am now with it, prison did that. I was more of a sipper [before], but after that, shit. Like they say, when you’re in Rome, do like the Romans. I picked that up, and I never smoked no damn tobacco either, and now I’m chronic. I was a weed smoker. Hickory, chicory, dock.

You’ve got to come in the kitchen with the right attitude. Don’t come in here with your mouth all crooked. That food gonna get awful.

Now I’m going to make the pancakes. I add a little extract, vanilla or almond, whatever you like. Maybe a teaspoon—just an eyeful. One egg, and flour depends on how many you’re serving for. Milk to consistency, not too loosey goosey. Salt? Hell no! Get out of my kitchen. Scram! No, we’re going sweet. Who wants salty pancakes? Just the thought.

[Pouring coffee into an Obama cup] Bam! Three or four [tablespoons of sugar]. We’re going to sweeten his policy up. Come on, chicory. Now, that’s a cup of coffee!

Funny story, when I first came home, after the charge I had, I had to send out sex offender notifications, and people was inviting me to their house, ‘Welcome to the neighborhood!’ That shit supposed to be like a warning, like, this is a bad man in your neighborhood, time to be leery of him. Shit, I got some invites, people coming to the door.

Any meats, especially chicken, you have to clean it. You soak that shit. We soak our chicken in the sink. When I grew up, I used to wonder why my mama had food just sitting soaking in the sink. ‘You’ve got to wash that food, boy.’ Right.”

 

Magical Mystikal Breakfast

“All you have to do is ask. Closed mouths don’t get fed.”

Cook green onion sausage on a George Foreman grill until done.

Grill chicken breast strips on there too, squeezing some yellow mustard over it once the surface is cooked, then keep grilling until cooked through.

Prepare grits for 4 people according to directions on package, adding 1 stick of butter and four slices of yellow American cheese 5 minutes before serving—cover, let melt, stir.

Get yourself a can of Grands Flaky Layers biscuit dough from Wal-Mart, or make biscuits from scratch.

Prepare peppered bacon (bacon generously sprinkled with black pepper) in the oven, finishing it off for 1 minute (covered with a paper towel) in the microwave.

Make scrambled eggs by mixing four eggs and a splash of milk (and plenty of salt and black pepper) in a bowl; cook in a hot, greased pan—Mystikal calls these “military eggs” because they’re cooked hard, and “that’s what they used to look like when I was in the army.”

 

Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg
1 cup buttermilk (or milk—then use less)
1 teaspoon extract (vanilla or almond)
1/2 stick butter, for frying

Stir flour and baking powder together. Mix egg, buttermilk and extract in a separate bowl. Quickly stir everything together, being careful not to over-mix or let the batter sit too long. Melt about a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan for each pancake. Make pancakes large.

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  • Denice

    Lord he’s talented, fine, can cook, fine, funny….did I say fine!  Oh ok!!!!  Proud & happy for you Mystikal

  • Denice

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  • Denice

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