Just when you think that there’s no way to improve upon the classic beauty of a traditional grilled cheese sandwich, Sandwich King Jeff Mauro puts his royal spin on this all-American favorite.
Made with in-season produce, richly flavored onions and plenty of cheese, Jeff’s Squash, Manchego and Balsamic-Onion Grilled Cheese (pictured above) from Food Network Magazine is a next-level sandwich that’s as comforting and deliciously gooey as the original. The secret to this grilled cheese is the balsamic-laced onions. Be sure to let them cook slowly on a low temperature for about 30 minutes so that they can concentrate their taste and become soft and sweet.
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Sandwich King Jeff Mauro joins the Food Network prime-time lineup this fall with a new half-hour series called $24 in 24, where Jeff discovers the best cheap local eats in cities across America. Each week, he’ll hit a new locale with a budget of just $24 to find the tastiest breakfast, lunch and dinner in town.
From unexpected mom and pop shops to globally inspired spots, Jeff’s coast-to-coast journey proves great food doesn’t have to break the bank. But can you really find good food for just $24? You absolutely can: “The beauty of this great country is that you can always find plenty of great food for a great price. There are so many interesting and affordable unearthed joints strewn about the ethnic enclaves that are so common in even the smallest of American cities,” Jeff added. He continued to say that showcasing great, family-run establishments that haven’t had much publicity and celebrating their food is one of his favorite things about this new show. “That, and watching myself eat on camera, which is always ultra-sexy!”
Jeff hits Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City and Philadelphia in the first season of $24 in 24, which premieres Monday, September 24, at 10:30pm ET/PT.
Earlier this week, we sat down with the Sandwich King himself for a Food Network Facebook chat. If you missed it, here are some of the highlights:
Lisa Graham Goulet: What is the one sandwich you’ve tried and will never make again?
JM: Blood sausage sandwich — whoa.
Jon Barsanti Jr.: What was it like living with everybody under one roof?
JM: Difficult at times, but at the end of the day, we were all in the same boat experiencing the same things.
Sara Levine: What was your favorite challenge? Least favorite?
JM: Rachael Ray was a blast, but Iron Chef was very difficult.
Katie Lascano: What were you thinking on your first day of Food Network Star?
JM: Oh. My. Heavens. What did I just sign up for? There’s a dude with holes in his ears and a tanned up kid from Jersey — so many tattoos.
Find out what Jeff ate as his celebratory meal »
After a neck-and-neck race to the finish line, Jeff Mauro inched out fellow finalist Susie Jimenez to become the season 7 winner of Food Network Star. Dedicated viewers and opinionated commenters on Food Network’s Facebook page and our Star blog o...
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