Korean Fried Chicken Sliders

Holy Balls, Batman

Korean Fried Chicken Sliders

Oh haaaaaaaaaay!

Anyone there? Have you left me? It would be well deserved – I am a giant slacker and I apologize. This has been, perhaps, the busiest six months of my life, and I am exhausted. Just when I think things are easing up, they absolutely do not do that. Luckily it’s been mostly great, fun, exciting and lovely stuff, but I am tired. I have a list a mile long to tell you about, but it’s been so long since I have made some of the things I want to share, I am going to have to go back and make them again.

BUT, I had to write today, because as it turns out, today B&G turns FIVE. That’s right. Today is Bread & Ginger’s fifth blogiversary. I am currently celebrating with a delicious gimlet and some pork chops that I can’t wait to tell you about, but we are going to celebrate with some fried chicken sliders, which might be how I celebrate everything from now on, because they are good. I first made this a full sized sandwich, which was good but it was a lot. I like the sliders better for their spicy/sweet meat-to-everything-else ratio.

These are good and easy and quick! There is some deep frying but hopefully that doesn’t scare you anymore. The sauce is sweet and spicy and nutty from the sesame, and also has a hint of funk from the fish sauce. (A good thing, I promise…) There are some ingredients in here that you may not have, but if you have an Asian supermarket nearby you will be able to find all of them ( if you don’t  – Amazon!) Gochujang – Korean chile paste – is spicy, but spicy like sriracha, rather than spicy like Frank’s or Texas Pete. There is a great depth of flavor and umami-ness to it. The spice is balanced by the sweetness from the sugar, and the pickles and the Kewpie mayo and the buttery brioche combine with the sauce for crazy goodness.

I miss you all, and B&G. I am still working on making more hours in the day. If anyone has any ideas, I am all ears.

Happy Blogiversary B&G! And thank you all for reading!!

Seriously, you are not gonna want to stop.

Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough

1. It is apparently National Junk Food Day which makes me feel way better about the snacks I had today.

2. I will watch Parks and Recreation any time it is on, notwithstanding how many times I have seen a particular episode.

3. I am currently reading A Clash of Kings. I am currently listening to Beyonce as often as possible. I saw her and Jay in concert a couple weeks back. It was amazing – life changing even. (Too hyperbolic?)

4. I am recovering from an ankle sprain. Apparently walking is a struggle. I wear heels for days, and hike around Denver, and a curb in front of one of my favorite restaurants three blocks from home lays me low while I am wearing top-siders. My high school soccer career is coming back to haunt me. Forever a champion. (This is the most annoying because I was starting to run again, and I have a Jawbone. It counted crutching, which was nice, but I am falling way short of my goal while I have a bum wheel.)

5. MAKE THESE SLIDERS. They are so good. You are going to like them. (And then use whatever sauce you have leftover for chicken wings. I am planning on doing just that this week.)

Korean Fried Chicken Sliders (makes 8 sliders)

For sauce:

4 cloves garlic

1 1/2 inch piece of ginger, roughly chopped

3 tbl gochujang (Korean chile paste, available at Asian markets or online)

3 tbl dark soy sauce (available at Asian markets)

1 tbl fish sauce

1 tbl brown sugar

1 tbl sesame oil

2-3 tbl rice vinegar

Put all ingredients and two tablespoons of the vinegar in a blender and pulse until ingredients are mixed and ginger and garlic are minced. If sauce seems a little thick, add another tablespoon of vinegar and blend to combine. Place in bowl and set aside.

For chicken:

4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in two equal pieces each

1 egg

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup masa harina (corn flour)

1 tbl corn starch

Salt and pepper

oil for frying

Heat three inches of oil in a sauce pan over medium high heat until it reaches 375 degrees. Meanwhile, in one bowl mix egg with 1 tbl water and whisk until combined. In another bowl, mix both flours, the cornstarch and generous pinches of salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Dredge chicken pieces in the egg mixture, then the flour mixture, and then again in the egg and then the flour. Fry chicken in batches until light brown and crispy, about 6 or 7 minutes. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Let the oil come back to temperature and repeat with the rest of the chicken pieces.

For sliders:

8 small brioche rolls

butter for toasting

dill pickle slices

kewpie mayonnaise (Japanese style mayonnaise – can be found in Asian markets and some supermarkets.)

Spread butter on the sliced brioche rolls, and toast until cut sides are golden brown and toasty. Spread each side generously with kewpie mayonnaise and layer pickle slices on the bottom roll. Dredge fried chicken pieces in sauce until well coated, and place on top of the pickles. Cover with the top of the roll and voila!

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Grilled Ham and Cheese

Remember how I love sandwiches? I do. I love them so much. They are really the ultimate comfort food for me. Probably because of the bread. Sandwiches on really good bread are hard to beat – hearty, filling, a little guilty – carbs! bah! But oh man. Some days a sandwich is just what the doctor ordered. I have had several of those days lately.

AH MAH GAHD

Sweet sweet redemption

Sandwiches man, little portable stacks of heaven. And this one is particularly good and restorative. It’s sort of my makeshift version of a Cuban sandwich. I love Cubans. They are meaty and smoky and spicy and there are pickles. But they require roasted pork, which is lovely, but I don’t generally have it on hand. This is not a bad alternative at all, if I do say so myself. I made some chipotle garlic mayo to add smokiness and lots of flavor, and then I grilled it up. Pro tip, if you have a brick lying around, wrap it in aluminum foil and use it to weigh down your sandwich while you are toasting it up. Instant panini press!

Imma make this quick, because it’s late, and I have another very long day ahead of me tomorrow. I can’t wait for the weekend. But I had to share this with you, because it was so good. Better than I actually expected. The mayo makes it. Make a bunch, keep it on hand.

And now…

A public service announcement to the classless, ignorant mother-daughter duo in Grandstand 12 at Fenway for the Sox-Orioles game last night – there is no better way to incur my wrath than to belittle and harass my little sis and her gf for being who they are. Life is long, and if you want to spend yours making someone else feel small, know that it will all come back around tenfold. You should rue the day I find out who you are, because HELL HATH NO FURY like a protective older sister. I know a lot of big words and have no qualms about publicly shaming ignorant shitbags. I will also have a few choice words for all the cowards sitting around them that didn’t feel it was their duty to stick up for their fellow humans in the face of bigotry…

Deep breaths…

In other news:

I have a new best friend. She is tiny and adorable and I can’t wait to spend A LOT more time with her. Welcome to the world Baby A. I adore you already.

So I actually got a little sad when I read this…because apparently the marriage itself and the fact that he is a famous person that I don’t actually know didn’t completely drive the point home that it probably wasn’t meant to be for us. But a kid, man. I guess it really isn’t happening.

What I am reading: Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain. I am really enjoying it, though I haven’t found myself with much time to read the last 10 days.

New TV is coming back and I am EXCITED about it. That means Scandal is coming back. Woot! And football is back. And it feels like fall. It is really wonderful. These sandwiches are perfect for fall! And football games! And tv!

Grilled Ham & Cheese (makes one sandwich)

2 slices of your favorite bread

3 slices ham

2 slices swiss cheese

3 pickle slices (lengthwise slices) (I like the Claussen Sandwich Stackers. Or just slice your favorite dill pickle in lengthwise slices.)

Mustard (I like Guilden’s Spicy Brown)

Chipotle Garlic Mayo (see recipe below)

1 tbl butter

Spread one side of each slice of bread with butter. Spread the other side of one piece of bread with mustard and the other with mayo. Stack the ham, cheese and pickles in between the slices of bread with the butter sides out. Grill the sandwich in a grill pan or frying pan over medium low heat until bread is toasty and brown and the cheese is melty. I like to press the sandwich under a weight to make it extra crusty. Enjoy! This sandwich is going to blow your mind.

Chipotle Garlic Mayo (makes about a quarter cup)

1/4 cup regular mayo

1 medium garlic clove, minced into a paste

1 smallish chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced into a paste

Pinch Salt

Mix all the ingredients together. Use on everything because you are going to like it a real lot.