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cooking with insects and bugs

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The Garrotting Gourmand

Readers have been writing in all month with their best lepidoptera recipes and, though I don't usually print non-vegetarian recipes, I've just gotten so many of these delightful dishes sent in that I've decided to print the best here for you non-vegetarians to enjoy. (Don't worry--next week we'll be back to recipes that everyone can eat.)




Mothkebabs

one pound baby carrots one pound pearl onions
one pound jalapeno peppers three pounds miller moths
Teriaki sauce seventy boxes round toothpicks

Chop the carrots, pearl onions, and jalapeno peppers into eighth-inch slices, remove wings, antennae, and legs from the moths, separate head, thorax, and abdomens, and slice abdomens into three or four pieces. Alternate vegetable slices with moth parts on toothpicks, placing head on the top end of the toothpick for a festive look. Brush with teriaki sauce and barbecue for twenty-five to thirty seconds. Mothkebabs may be doused in brandy and served flaming if desired.




Mothloaf

three eggs 1 cup dried breadcrumbs three pounds moths

Chop moths in a food processor or blender and combine with eggs and breadcrumbs. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes or until the top is brown and crunchy-looking. I've found that this recipe is equally good whether fed to the cat or shipped to Uruguay.




Mothballs

1 cup sugar 1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water five pounds moths

Combine sugar, water, and corn syrup in a small saucepan and cook over a medium flame, stirring until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat and continue boiling until mixture reaches hard ball stage. Pour over moths and stir until moths are well-coated. Scoop out portions of moth-candy mixture, form into balls, and allow to congeal on sheets of waxed paper.




Moth Brittle

2 cups sugar 1/2 cup corn syrup 1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter 1 tsp vanilla extract three pounds moths

Combine sugar, corn syrup, and water in a three-quart saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook to hard ball stage, add vanilla and butter, and beat rapidly until mixture loses its gloss. Pour sugar mixture over moths, mix thoroughly, and spread onto two greased cookie sheets to cool. For best results, do not make moth brittle.




Fillet Mothignon

One fresh moth

Carefully cut away the head, abdomen, legs, and wings of one fresh, plump moth; put these aside for another recipe (cf. Moth Haggis on page 23). Slice thorax down the middle of the ventral side and peel away exoskeleton, being careful not to bruise the tender inner fillet. Bake in a covered pan at 325 for three hours, basting every twenty minutes. Fillet should be done when surface is golden-brown, crispy on the outside and tender inside. Before serving, allow to cool for a few minutes, throw away, and order pizza.

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