Your ingredients are the stars
Recent winner of Food Network Star, host of The Kitchen and executive chef at Pork & Mindy’s in Chicago, Jeff Mauro knows a thing or two about making a masterpiece between two pieces of bread. Nicknamed “The Sandwich King,” Mauro says before you even think about putting anything together, take time to consider the value of what you’re buying from your local grocery store or specialty shop. “You can have all the right pieces to put together an amazing sandwich, but if those ingredients aren’t quality, then the final dish will never be delicious,” he says. But what if you don’t have time to watch bread rise or grow your own tomatoes? Mauro gets it, and suggests for those ingredients, “find an amazing bakery or deli to buy from.” These places will likely be better prepared, as compared to a big box store that sources in quantity, not quality. Here are the steps to creating the perfect sandwich.
The other perk of focusing on quality ingredients over whatever is the cheapest is how it pays back in dividends. Mauro says he tries his best to support small local businesses, not only because it’s important for the economy, but because often times, little shops will have more interesting sandwich fixings. From a spicy mustard that’s been crafted from a family who has dedicated their life to perfecting the recipe to an unusual jam concoction that you would never think to make yourself (bacon-jalapeño, anyone?), but tickles your palate—it’s often at lesser-known stores that you’ll find hidden gems. Here’s how to craft the best grilled cheese sandwich.