The Biggest Mistake Doug E Fresh Thinks You're Making With Cod - Exclusive

Doug E. Fresh's Caribbean soul food joint, once based in Harlem, NY, closed its doors for good, but that hasn't kept the hip-hop icon from his culinary passions. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of hip-hop and McCormick's first bottle redesign in nearly 40 years, the legendary beatboxer released an original spiced cod and mashed plantains recipe, which you can watch him prepare in a brand new music video.

Follow Fresh's guidelines and give your cod Caribbean flavors, sprinkling a mix of garlic powder, thyme leaves, crushed red pepper, Allspice, and cinnamon on top of the fish. As Fresh says in his music video, "Herbs and spices to your likeness ... fresh flavor, you savor."

After seasoning, the hip-hopper's recipe calls for cooking each fillet for two to three minutes on each side in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Don't take your eyes off the cod while it's cooking. In an exclusive interview with Mashed in honor of his partnership with McCormick, he told us, "The biggest mistake people make when prepping and cooking cod is ... they overcook it and dry it out."

Doug E. Fresh wants you to elevate your cod with flavorful Kale

In the recipe that Doug E. Fresh created for his partnership with McCormick, The Human Beat Box combines spiced cod and plantains with braised kale. Kale skeptics, don't stop reading yet. If you've never prepared your leafy greens with spices, try it Fresh's way before nixing the side altogether. The music megastar transforms kale with onion, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, thyme leaves, and vegetable stock. As he exclusively told Mashed, "Vegetables are important to have with your meal, and what makes people want to eat them is when they are made with flavor, so seasoning your vegetables properly is very important."

Just as when you're cooking cod, pay close attention to cooking time while preparing the kale. Fresh simmers his for 15 to 20 minutes until tender — guidelines you'll want to follow for optimal results. "The number one tip with kale is to let it cook long enough so it's not so tough, but also not cook it too long that it loses the texture that makes it a unique vegetable," he told us.

In addition to releasing the new song, Fresh will be leading a one-of-a-kind cooking class for local New York consumers on the early evening of Thursday, September 14, 2023. Selected guests will have the opportunity to taste the fresh flavor of McCormick® seasonings and cook alongside a musical icon, before enjoying their finished dishes. To enter the official sweepstakes to attend the free cooking class, click HERE and view official rules HERE. The sweepstakes opens today and ends on Thursday, August 31, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. with limited spots available through a random draw.

This interview has been edited for clarity.