Birthday Party: The Sandwich Edition

I don’t know why I love a good theme so much, but I do. I love to cook around a theme, whether it is a particular cuisine, like Thai or Korean or Hawaiian, or just a random thought that sparks my imagination for a party and then a menu. Last year’s bday theme for my angel-in-an-apron was “monsters,” complete with monster eyeball deviled eggs and furry orange cheese ball creatures. This year, the theme is “sandwich.” OK, not as cool.

Really the theme is “rockstar,” but I tried to think of “rockstar foods” and didn’t come up with much. Then I decided that variations on the theme of sandwiches would do nicely. Rockstars, I am sure, don’t bother with forks and knives, so sandwiches could work.

On the savory side: (build your own) cubanos and Korean bbq chicken on mini Hawaiian sweet bread rolls. On the sweet side: pound cake and angel food cake “sandwiches” with various fillings, including lemon curd, blueberry compote, pastry cream, hazelnut-chocolate spread, bananas, toasted coconut and almonds, and whipped cream.

Korean BBQ Chicken Sandwich on Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

Here’s the recipe for the chicken sandwiches:

2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
BBQ Sauce:
1/2 cup fermented Korean chili paste (gochujang)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar or palm sugar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, grated
1 tablespoon garlic chili paste (or to taste for spice)

Mix bbq sauce ingredients together until smooth. Place chicken pieces into a large container or zip-top bag with 1/2 of the bbq sauce and let marinate in the fridge for at least one hour. Grill or broil the chicken pieces until cooked through and charred in places.

Serve the chicken on sweet rolls or in small flour tortillas with extra sauce on the side. Offer a tray of garnishes such as sliced cucumbers, green onions, cilantro, jalapeno slices and shredded cabbage.

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