27 March 2021

Weekend Cooking: Come On Over by Jeff Mauro

Review of Come On Over by Jeff MauroHave you heard of Jeff Mauro? He made his name as the “Sandwich King” on the Food Network and currently hosts the show The Kitchen on the same network. His new cookbook, Come On Over will be published by William Morrow in April. (Thanks to William Morrow for the review copy of the cookbook.)

As you can tell from the title, this cookbook is all about entertaining—but don’t think hoity-toity. The gatherings Mauro likes are those that involve family and close friends. Each chapter focuses on a different kind of company meal, such as brunch, game day, cook-out, and pizza. There are also menus for themed meals, like tropical, Mexican, and holiday.

The recipes themselves are fairly easy to put together and have good flavor. We liked the Crispy Broccoli with Asiago and Pine Nuts, for example (see scan), which consists of tossing the broccoli in seasonings and cheese, roasting it, and then mixing with toasted pine nuts and some lemon zest and juice. Simple and delicious.

We (by we I, of course, mean me!) also made Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Bake, and the pantry-style Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Soup (see below for recipe). Both are on the make-again list.

Review of Come On Over by Jeff MauroRecommendation: Jeff Mauro’s Come On Over is a great choice for people looking for fairly easy recipes for casual entertaining or even for family dining. Many of the main dishes include fish or some kind of meat, so vegetarians will have to look before buying.

Cooks who have a solid repertoire of tried-and-true recipes for informal company dinners will want to check this cookbook out of the library. I promise you’ll find some new recipes to try (like Takeout-Style Chinese Spare Ribs, Citrusy Honey-Tequila Shrimp, and Grilled Greek Summer Salad), but I’m not sure you’ll find a ton of new ideas.

Last week's meal plan: Here’s what we had for dinner over the last week. Note that all dishes were served with a vegetable, salad, home-baked bread, grain, and/or pasta as appropriate:

  • Grilled apple gouda pork sausages (sausages from Butcherbox)
  • Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Soup (recipe below)
  • Greek Lemon Chicken and Orzo Bake from Come On Over
  • Curry udon with broccoli and avocado from I Can Cook Vegan (an Abram's Dinner Party cookbook I shared on Instagram and IG stories)
  • Mediterranean baked cod from The Mediterranean Dish website (cod from Butcherbox)
Now for the promised recipe. Note: I turned the soup into a vegetarian dish by eliminating the bacon and using vegetable stock. I added a chopped jalapeno pepper to the soup with the onion, and I didn't make the crema. We served this with lime wedges, diced avocado, and some shredded Cheddar cheese.

Next time I’d add chopped spinach, kale, or Swiss chard to the soup after using the immersion blender, just for extra nutrition. But the soup was really yummy without it.

Black Bean and Roasted Tomato Soup with Avocado Crema

Review of Come On Over by Jeff MauroServes 4
  • ½ pound smoked bacon or pancetta, cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • One 14.5-ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 chipotle chiles in adobo, chopped fine
  • Three 15-ounce cans black beans, including canning liquid
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (I skipped this and seasoned at the end)
  • 1 jalapeno, cored, seeded, and sliced thin, for garnish
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, for garnish
Avocado Crema:
  • ½ cup Mexican crema or sour cream
  • 2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled, and roughly chopped
  • Zest and juice of 2–3 limes, as needed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Set a medium saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel–lined plate, leaving the fat in the pan.

Quickly add the onion and cook it in the bacon grease, stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, letting it get some good color. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, stock, chiles, beans, bay leaf, and salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally.

To make the crema, place the crema, avocados, and lime zest and juice of 2 limes in the bowl of a food processor and blend until smooth. If too thick, thin out with a bit more lime juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the crema to a bowl and cover the surface with plastic wrap to keep it from browning. Refrigerate the bowl.

Now back to the soup. Carefully remove the bay leaf and discard. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup until you achieve the consistency you desire. Taste and season with more salt, if desired.

To serve, ladle the soup in to bowls, garnish with bacon, avocado crema, jalapenos, and cilantro. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 days or freezer for 3 months.

Scans and recipe shared in the context of a review. All rights remain with the original copyright holder.

Shared with Weekend Cooking, hosted by Marg at The Intrepid Reader (and Baker)

11 comments:

Mae Travels 3/27/21, 7:41 AM  

Looks like soup for a pretty big crowd! Also looks like the kind of thing I put together without a recipe. Canned tomatoes RULE!! As you say, most of us already cook like that book so we probably won't even need it when entertaining lots of people becomes possible.

be safe... mae at maefood.blogspot.com

Tina 3/27/21, 8:04 AM  

Oh, I love the sound of lemon chicken and any orzo dish works for me. Great soup recipe, I never thought of adding black beans to tomato soup. That’s a winner!

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/27/21, 8:53 AM  

That Black Bean Soup looks fantastic, and I always love a good Greek Chicken recipe.

Jackie McGuinness 3/27/21, 9:04 AM  

I'm just not a fan of Jeff Mauro on The Kitchen, don't know why, but he annoys me.
That soup sounds fabulous! I love adding (hiding) extra vegetables in meals.

judee 3/27/21, 10:32 AM  

Beth, It sounds like a great cookbook and except for the chicken stock (easy fix) and the bacon, I LOVE this recipe.. thanks

Vicki 3/27/21, 1:07 PM  

That black bean soup looks/sounds so good! I've been on a soup kick lately.

Deb in Hawaii 3/27/21, 1:16 PM  

I love a good black bean soup and this one looks so tasty with or without the avocado crema. I think it's interesting that he pulled away from his "The Sandwich King" moniker--when he started I thought it was kind of limiting. ;-)

Hope you are doing well!

Laurie C 3/27/21, 4:25 PM  

I'm not familiar with the Food Network stars, but the cookbook sounds like it's worth looking through. I love black beans and even though we're moving out of soup season, I've still been eating it every day, just about, and just made potato-leek soup and cooked up more stock for a future soup!

Greg 3/27/21, 5:30 PM  

I like the sound of this, and that Crispy Broccoli with asiago and nuts sounds delish. So does the Mediterranean baked cod, honestly.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 3/28/21, 12:24 PM  

The Curried Udon with Broccoli and Avocado caught my eye...

Sherry's Pickings 4/4/21, 6:21 AM  

i have seen this fellow on a cooking show. i think it must have been the kitchen.

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