Paula Deen's sons want to make you a sandwich
When you hear the Deen name it's only natural to imagine mayonnaise, sour cream, and a hearty Southern giggle. But the eponymous Paula Deen isn't the only one in the kitchen anymore. Her sons, Jamie and Bobby, have their own cooking show (the Food Network's 'Road Tasted'), their own cooking magazine (Deen Bros. Good Cooking) and now their own cause: Sandwich Night. By partnering with the nonprofit Grain Foods Foundation, the Deen brothers are encouraging families to designate one night a week for sandwiches--thus getting more healthy grains on the menu. Bobby and Jamie will demonstrate some of their favorite sandwich recipes from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mall of America next Thursday for those who want to go with the grain. But we snagged an early chat with the boys Deen on everything from Paula's most popular dishes to their own take on tuna.
Double the Deen
1. Why should one night a week be 'Sandwich Night?'
Bobby: Sandwich Night really works on a few different levels--first and foremost it gets the whole family in the kitchen, which is something we're very passionate about. Secondly, sandwiches can be a really healthy and affordable option--one sandwich gives you at least two of your daily servings of grain foods.
Jamie: And the flavor combinations are endless, so the kids can really have a good time coming up with some crazy sandwiches.
2. What are your favorite sandwiches (respectively)?
Jamie: I loved my mom's Sloppy Joes growing up. Now I usually go for a nice turkey sandwich with lots of fresh garden vegetables--pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, you name it.
Bobby: Jamie stole my favorite sandwich! I actually go for the same these days--lots of turkey and fresh veggies. I even like to use a pita with some sprouts and tomatoes and lots of nice, fresh cheese.
3. Are you nervous about slapping together sandwiches in front of a live audience at the Mall of America?
Bobby: Not in the slightest. Between the challenges of getting our restaurant off the ground and trying to make momma happy, this will just be fun.
Jamie: I don't get nervous about anything. This should be a good time.
4. Your magazine, The Deen Bros Good Cooking, targets men. Was this an audience that was being ignored by food publications? How do you cater to that audience?
Jamie: I think that things are changing a bit in that men aren't afraid to come off the grill and into the kitchen. I think we try to include everyone in our audience, so it's not that we're targeting men, it's just that we don't discount them. We want everyone in the family to enjoy good, hearty fare--I just might focus on dad-friendly meals a bit more, while Bobby is concentrating on developing dishes for date night.
Bobby: I agree, we really try to focus on the whole family, and men are part of the family too. I think they might just have been misrepresented until now.
5. We have to ask a Paula question: What's your favorite dish your mom makes?
Bobby: My mom still makes me goulash every year for my birthday. I love it--it just has a special place in my heart because it reminds me of being a kid.
Jamie: I have lots, but right at the moment I'm going to go with short ribs and rice. I wish she would make it for me right now!
The Deen Brothers Zesty Tuna Fish Salad Sandwich
8 slices whole wheat bread
2 six-ounce cans light tuna packed in olive oil, drained
1/3 C mayonnaise
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 eggs, hard boiled and finely chopped
1/4 C chopped dill pickles
salt to taste
4 leaves green leaf lettuce
8 slices tomato, thinly sliced
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Add
tuna, eggs, pickles, minced onion, and lemon pepper and stir to coat. Add additional
mayonnaise if needed. Salt to taste. Divide tuna salad among 4 slices of bread. Top each with chopped lettuce and tomato slices.Top with remaining 4 slices of bread and serve. The lemon makes this tuna salad zing!