Jeff's Ultimate Grilled Cheese: Layer by Gooey Layer
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."
Jeff explains, "If you’re putting me on an island with only grilled-cheese ingredients, I am going to choose American cheese every time. Sliced!"
"I don’t like any pickles on mine," notes Jeff. "If I am going to add additions to a classic grilled cheese, it’s thinly sliced tomatoes. About four of them, covering the expanse of the bread."
"Always diagonal — always!" according to Jeff. He says, "I think it’s just more of a dramatic presentation. And you have four dramatic corners of entry, which are perfect for dunking into soups. Those sharp triangles are easier for those four good dunks, and then you go from there. The four best bites."