On “The Last O.G.,” Tracy Morgan plays an ex-convict turned chef adjusting to life back in Brooklyn. So it’s no surprise that “The Last O.G. Cookbook,” inspired by the TBS series, features recipes with some NYC flavor. That includes a dip take on the bodega sandwich staple chopped cheese, with the requisite ground beef, cheese and sandwich rolls.
The cookbook is out now, just in time for the show’s second season premiere on Tuesday, with some 80 recipes for snacks, mains, sides, desserts and drinks by Nicole Taylor, the food writer and author of “The Up South Cookbook: Chasing Dixie in a Brooklyn Kitchen.”
Chopped cheese dip
Serves 4 to 6
- 4 long sandwich rolls, cut into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
- 1 lb. American cheese slices
- 2 tbsp. unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
- 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 2 cups shredded lettuce
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sliced rolls on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until crisp. Remove from the oven and set aside. Set aside 3 slices of the cheese and cube the remaining slices.
2. In a large frying pan, melt 1 tbsp. of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until softened. Add the bell pepper and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Move the onion and pepper aside in the pan, add the beef to the center of the pan, and turn the heat up to medium-high.
3. Season the beef with the seasoned salt. Press it down with a metal spatula to form a crust and let it cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Chop the meat with the spatula, breaking it up and cooking off the pink parts for 4 to 5 minutes, until thoroughly browned.
4. Melt 2 of the reserved slices of cheese over the beef, letting them touch the bottom of the pan to crisp up, about 2 minutes. Transfer the cheesy beef to a medium bowl and turn the heat down to low.
5. In a large frying pan, melt the remaining 1 tbsp. butter, add the flour, and cook until it bubbles and forms a light roux. Whisk in the milk. Working one handful at a time, add the cheese cubes and whisk until fully melted and incorporated. Mix the beef into the cheese. If using a serving bowl or warming vessel, transfer the dip. Lay the last slice of cheese over the dip to melt.
6. Arrange the tomatoes, lettuce, and roll slices on a platter. Serve alongside the dip so guests can make their own mini sandwiches.
Chopped cheese dip 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.