by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, April 25th, 2015
by Sara Levine in Recipes, September 24th, 2014
As Food Network’s official Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro is no stranger to between-bread creations, and on this morning’s all-new episode of The Kitchen, he joined Geoffrey Zakarian for a Flavor Bombs segment focusing on one sandwich in particular: the grilled cheese. For GZ, the next-level taste came in the form of rich, hearty brioche bread, which promised to give heft to his over-the-top grilled cheese, while Jeff added a bold punch of spice to his jalapeno-spiked recipe.
FN Dish caught up with Jeff on the set of The Kitchen to get his take on what it takes to build not just an everyday grilled cheese but his ultimate, best-ever grilled cheese. From the necessary thickness of the slice of bread to sliced-versus-shredded cheese thoughts, read on below to hear from Jeff and find out what he considers to be “the four best bites” of the sandwich.
“White bread — country white, because it’s usually a little sweeter. It’s got a little more density to it,” Jeff says. “Thick slices, but you don’t want to get too thick. You want to get not, like, your standard bagged sandwich bread, but something a little heartier. But not Texas toast. It’s got to be thin enough to let that heat rise to the interior to goo out the cheese. But it can’t be too thin, where you’re going to take it off [the heat] and it’s going to be floppy. I hate floppy grilled cheese. [Also,] butter on my grilled cheese. Yes.”
by Maria Russo in Shows, April 15th, 2014
Is your cold-cuts-on-wheat sandwich routine growing tiresome? We hear you. Whenever we need a dose of creativity to liven up our bread-based meals, we turn to Food Network’s resident Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro. Here are a few favorite Sandwich King creations — some more over the top than others, but all guaranteed to never bore your taste buds.
Mac and Cheese Grilled Cheese with Bacon Two Ways
In the ultra-decadent category, Jeff’s grilled cheese sandwich is unlike any you’ve ever had. A helping of creamy mac and cheese makes up the super-cheesy filling, and crispy bacon adds crunch. Read more
by Guest Blogger in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 12th, 2014
Just a few months ago, five of your favorite Food Network chefs came together on The Kitchen to celebrate what is arguably the most-important room in the home. Now after a premiere season jam-packed with an over-the-top snackadium, special guest chefs, Tool Takedowns and one unforgettable Double Provolone, Geoffrey, Jeff, Katie, Marcela and Sunny are gearing up for a second round of go-to recipes for eats and drinks, timesaving cooking strategies and kid-friendly meal solutions. FN Dish was on the set of The Kitchen recently and we caught up with the group as they looked back on their most-memorable moments from early episodes and revealed what’s to come in new episodes, beginning this Saturday at 11a|10c.
For many of the co-hosts, the top unforgettable moment was when Jeff donned a sandwich-themed bodysuit to perform an impromptu routine he called The Double Provolone for Brian Boitano. “I mean, I saw it on the monitor ’cause I wasn’t actually in that segment, but I was crying I was laughing so hard,” Marcela admitted. Jeff and Katie, too, recounted that scene, Jeff deeming it “very risky” and Katie saying simply, “That was special.”
by Maria Russo in Recipes, January 8th, 2014
by Jeff Mauro
What a blast it was watching the premiere of The Kitchen along with all of you. The twitter action was bonkers. I was up in the air on my way back from the 14th annual Mauro Mexico Family Trip (25 Mauros strong this year!). I was sad because: A) The vacation was a bit of a bummer because it rained five days straight, I lost my iPad and my mom got a terrible case of strep throat*, and B) I wasn’t able to watch the live airing of the premiere of our new show on TV. Luckily, we had in-flight Wi-Fi and I got to engage in the episode via Twitter. Overall, the response was very positive, which is always reassuring. Twittertown can be a rough and tumble joint (keep reading, you’ll see what I mean), and it is seriously not for the meek. But in this case, it seemed like the people really liked us. Phew.
Episode 2 was a blast to shoot. We hit the field energetic and, with a couple practices and a solid game under our tight belts, more confident. We had our first guest during Cookbook Club — the highly talented pastry guru, author and legitimate Chicago native Jenny McCoy (win a copy of her book now). She gave an effortless interview in which I totally blew it and forgot to ask her my favorite question ever (see photo below). Jenny then demoed some of her award-winning desserts with the girls, and GZ and I promptly got kicked off set. This gave us a bit of a “union break.” I enjoyed a necessary dose of Jersey sunshine with GZ (which I guess was highly necessary, considering I received several tweets, one claiming I look “pretty pale” and another asking “What’s with Jeff’s alabaster skin? It’s gross.”). Noted.**
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, Shows, January 7th, 2014
The new year is full of uncertain futures and vast possibilities, and often with those come predictions for what will be especially hot topics and what will be old news over the next 12 months. Mere days into 2014, Jeff Mauro revealed on last week’s premiere episode of The Kitchen that among the year’s food trends, he thinks chicken thighs will gain huge popularity — and perhaps even replace the ever-present bacon.
While few eat an entire plate of bacon for supper, chicken thighs are indeed a meal in and of themselves, and, best of all, they’re simple to cook and easy on the wallet. Since thighs tend to be a bit fattier than chicken breasts, they’re far more flavorful, and can be prepared in any number of ways. Try roasting them with garlic, grilling them with fresh herbs and citrus, or braising them in a rich sauce. No matter how you cook chicken thighs, you can be sure you’ll end up with juicy, tender meat that the whole family will enjoy.
Check out a few of Food Network’s favorite chicken thigh recipes after the jump, then tell FN Dish in the comments below what food trends you’re hoping to see in 2014.
by Maria Russo in Shows, December 11th, 2013
You know Geoffrey, Jeff, Katie, Marcela and Sunny from their other adventures on Food Network and FoodNetwork.com, but for the first time last Saturday, you watched them come together on their brand-new series, The Kitchen (airing Saturdays at 11am/10c). Katie and Geoffrey cooked alongside each other, Sunny showed off her version of crepes, and the group dished about the latest trends and topics in everyone’s favorite room of the house: the kitchen. Before the season gets too far underway, however, FN Dish wants fans to get to know each of the co-hosts a bit better, so we’ll be sharing exclusive interviews with all five chefs every day this week. Read on below to learn more about Sandwich King Jeff Mauro, and keep checking back to hear from Katie, Marcela and Sunny.
Tell us your culinary point of view in the kitchen in a few sentences.
Jeff Mauro: I’m a true dad home cook: I do it, I live it, and I want to be able to provide my family with the freshest, healthiest food in all shapes and sizes and forms.
Why did you want to get involved in The Kitchen?
JM: Other than being on Food Network, my dream was to have a talk show format where I can improvise, be funny and cook all at the same time, while interacting with other people, so to me it’s a dream come true.
Hear more from Jeff
by Maria Russo in Food Network Chef, November 21st, 2013
There’s no question that in most homes, the kitchen is the warmest room in the house, the place where memories are made and stories are shared — not to mention where family meals are prepared day after day. And beginning this winter, five of your favorite Food Network stars will celebrate these aspects and more of the kitchen on an all-new series.
Jeff Mauro, Geoffrey Zakarian, Katie Lee, Marcela Valladolid and Sunny Anderson will come together on The Kitchen, premiering Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014, at 11am/10c, in a weekly morning show to not just cook some of their signature recipes together, but to dish on current food trends, chat about their families’ strategies for easy weeknight meals, swap money-saving tips and help you get the most out of your favorite kitchen gadgets. As these stars will gather around the kitchen table week after week, each will lend a unique perspective to the conversation, among them Katie’s often-healthy point of view, Marcela’s flair for Mexican cuisine and Geoffrey’s penchants for crafted cocktails.
by Maria Russo in Events, October 20th, 2013
It’s Thursday, and while that means everyone is just one day away from the weekend, it also means it’s time to throw back — to an earlier period in Food Network’s history. Check back on FN Dish every Thursday to find the latest #tbt of your favorite chefs and get a retro look at their earliest days on TV.
While Jeff Mauro is now a firmly ingrained Food Network chef, his first days on TV weren’t actually as a star — instead, he was a star in the making, as he was one of 15 finalists to compete on Food Network Star, Season 7.
During the run of the competition in 2011, Jeff offered a sandwich-focused point of view in the kitchen, explaining, “You are only a couple steps away from turning any sandwich into a meal and any meal into one fantastic sandwich.” His unique culinary niche, coupled with his on-camera charm and comedic timing, caught the attention of the Selection Committee, including Food Network executives Bob and Susie, and they ultimately welcomed him to the Food Network family as the first-ever Sandwich King. Jeff’s premiere series, titled after his nickname, aired that summer with a mix of sandwich recipes inspired by his Italian heritage, his hometown of Chicago and some of his favorite meals.
by Marisa McClellan in Recipes, September 6th, 2013
When it comes to sandwiches, no one knows or respects the intricacies of this timeless favorite quite like Food Network’s own Sandwich King, Jeff Mauro. At Saturday’s Soup’er Sandwich event during the 2013 New York City Wine & Food Festival, Jeff gathered more than two dozen of his fellow sandwich enthusiasts at Manhattan’s Hudson Hotel, and together they celebrated all things meaty, cheesy and saucy between bread, as well as the ultimate accompaniment to sandwiches: soup.
Not one to stick with ordinary PB&Js or the everyday ham-and-cheese, Jeff offered the crowd of guests a dinnerlike sandwich, The Sloppy Greek (pictured left). FN Dish caught up with the host at his station, and he broke down each component of his signature sandwich: “Ground lamb, slowly seared and cooked with red wine, a bunch of spices [and] garlic, homemade feta tzatziki sauce with a little mint in there [and] cucumber-banana pepper relish served on a Martin’s potato roll.” What resulted was a bold, flavorful “Greek-inspired spin on a sloppy joe,” according to Jeff. “It’s delicious,” he added, and his fans surely agreed, given that he ran out of bread not long into the afternoon.
See more photos
During my first few years of elementary school, my family lived in Los Angeles. Because it was almost always warm enough to eat outside, my school didn’t have a cafeteria. Instead, we just had an outdoor courtyard with plastic picnic tables and a small window through which hot lunches were dispensed.
I was mostly a brown-bag kid in those days, but occasionally, when something on the monthly menu particularly spoke to me, my parents would give me a dollar and let me buy lunch. I always asked to buy lunch on the days when they served sloppy joes.
I think part of the reason had to do with how it was served. The saucy meat came packaged in a little aluminum tray, covered tightly with foil. On top, they’d stack a waxed paper dish that held the bun and a plastic cup of applesauce or fruit cocktail. You’d go to your seat with a carton of milk, a napkin and a plastic spork to assemble your very own sandwich. I loved it.
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