Sometimes all I want after a long day stomping around Hell is to come home and rest my hooves with a cool glass of white wine and some soft music. And nothing goes better with a glass of white wine like my spicy, fiery Cajun silkworm pasta.
Now before you get all…icky…about the thought of eating bugs, allow me to drop some knowledge on you mere mortals.
Let’s start first with a really big, sort of dirty sounding word: Entomophagy.
So what is Entomophagy? Basically, in a nut shell (or bug shell, if you will) it’s the practice of eating insects. Or, more specifically, the willful, intentional act of eating insects.
Why do I say willful and intentional? Because, whether or not you like it, you’re already eating bugs every day. That’s right, bugs are everywhere. In fact, they’re so ubiquitous, that the FDA has actually included specific information in their handbooks for just how much “bug” can be in your food before they have to tell you.
Feel like some spaghetti and want to throw in some canned mushrooms? Better be prepared for some maggots to join the party…around 20 in fact. That’s right, the FDA mandates that up to 20 maggots are allowed for every 100 grams of drained mushroom.
Feeling queasy yet?
Why not wash that spaghetti down with some fruit juice? Of course, for every 8-ounce cup of sweet pressed apple cider, you’re also getting about 5 fruit flies.
Want to switch to something a little less ‘juicy?’ That handful of raisins is legally allowed up to 35 fruit fly eggs for each 8 ounce box you slam.
But what about alcohol? Alcohol kills bugs, right? You bet, but that doesn’t mean they don’t still make it into the can. For every every 10 grams of hops processed into your favorite malty, alcoholic beverage (beer) the FDA legally allows 2,500 aphids to be included in that mix.
Now that I’ve gone and fully ruined your appetite (heh, heh, heh…I am the Devil after all), let’s talk about why this actually isn’t such a bad thing..and why bugs really should be on the menu.
First off, bugs are good for you. No, really. They’re high in protein, packed full of healthy things like fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. On top of that, pound for pound, they’re more environmentally friendly to produce than just about any other food source on the planet.
Bugs are also safer for us to consume than other sources of protein. Unlike meat which can be a carrier for diseases (like the H1N1 virus, salmonella, listeria, and the always terrifying mad cow disease), insects, when properly prepared and cooked, are a safe and easy alternative.
Of course, none of this means diddly squat if what you’re eating tastes like crap…which is why I’m going to share with you my all time favorite recipe for spicy Cajun fried silkworms.
But first, a very serious word of Warning:
If you are allergic to shrimp, or any type of shellfish, you will also be allergic to this dish. Why? Both insects and shellfish are classified as ‘arthropods’ – having an exoskeleton and segmented bodies. Any insect that has an outer shell is a part of this classification and should be treated as a potential allergen and you should NOT eat it.
As much as I’d love the company in Hell, you dying of anaphylactic shock before your time as a result of this recipe is just going to mean two things:
- You’re dead.
- The Incoming Soul Processing team will have to do an Unexpected Arrival paperwork package on you, which I know they really really hate.
Okay, now that that is out of the way, let’s get started.
for this recipe you will need:
- 3/4 lb raw silkworm grubs
- 4 oz. fettuccini pasta
- 3 teaspoons salt, divided
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 cup whipping cream
- 3 1/2 teaspoons cajun seasoning, divided
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons cold water
The fist thing we need to do is prep the grubs the NIGHT BEFORE you’re ready to make your pasta.
Start by poking a hole in the bum of each grub with a toothpick or skewer. You’ll want to be careful when you do this. The idea is to allow spices IN, not for all the ooey gooey goodness inside to come OUT…so be gentle, don’t over-squeeze.
Once you’ve got your grubs poked, place them in a bowl of cold water. Mix in 2 teaspoons of salt and 2 teaspoons of your cajun seasoning and allow them to soak in this bath in your refrigerator for at least 6 hours, (overnight preferably.)
After the grubs have soaked, remove them from their bath and pat them dry, but do not rinse.
Cook your pasta according to the directions on the package.
Sprinkle your grubs with the salt, pepper and cajun seasoning and toss to coat evenly.
Melt your butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil and butter are hot and well combined, add in your grubs in a single layer.
Using your spatula or a wooden spoon, gently agitate your grubs as they cook, rotating them so they fry up evenly in the hot oil/butter mixture.
As your grubs cook, you will notice their exterior becoming almost translucent. Once the grubs are a nice golden brown and their exteriors are almost totally translucent, remove them from the heat and add them to your drained pasta.
Without cleaning out the pan you used to fry your grubs, add in your chicken broth and allow the pan to deglaze.
Mix your cornstarch with your cold water and mix until smooth and lump free. Gently pour this into your cream.
Reduce the heat to medium and add in your cream, whisking the mixture constantly. Cook the cream broth until it bubbles and thickens — about five minutes.
Add in your desired amount of cajun spice from your remaining stash (around 1/4 teaspoon) as well as any other seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, hemlock, cyanide, etc.)
Pour the sauce over your drained pasta, toss to coat, and enjoy!
I suggest serving this pasta with some well buttered bread and a glass of chilled white wine.
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