…That is what my kids told me yesterday when asking whether I could help them roast crickets and then dip them in chocolate. That is what I get for allowing them to read books about survival skills.
I have 9 crickets chilling, literally, in my fridge in preparation to roast them. Mmm hmm. I said I’m going to roast crickets. If you read yesterday’s post (and she smacks her forehead!) you will see how this all came about. I’m a little too disgusted with myself to go into the whole thing again. So the big debate is whether the boys should have them salty or, as Ty- the originator of the idea- suggests, dipped in dark chocolate. I don’t care.
I tried talking to my sister for moral support. She was no help. She was excited. I think she has latent hostility toward me for all those times I stuck my pointy elbow in her ribs.
Me (whining): “I can’t believe I promised Ty I would help him roast crickets.”
Jessie: “That’s awesome! I think I saw a children’s book about cooking with insects. Maybe you could get it from the library to reinforce the lesson.”
Me: “What lesson? The lesson that I shouldn’t ‘promise’ to roast crickets? I got that one down already.”
Jessie: “No. I mean it’s really neat! There are people all over the world who eat insects. This is a great lesson.”
Me: “Well then, why don’t you come over and help them and then you can eat some?”
Jessie: “I’m a vegetarian.”
Me: “Lame excuse.”
Not shockingly, none of my cookbooks had advice on how to do this. Survivorman skewered the live buggies and roasted them over an open flame. I’m not skewering live crickets. After googling, “How to roast crickets”, unsurprisingly the choices were few. Here’s the “recipe” I found.
“Recipe for Dry Roasted Crickets
It is important to know that once insects die, postmortem changes happen rapidly making them unpalatable very quickly. You have to cook them alive like you do a lobster.
Just before cooking, put your crickets in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast them. You don’t want to kill them, only slow their metabolism down so that they stop moving. This allows for arranging them on the cookie sheet with out them trying to get away.
Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Spread a bunch of pre cooled live crickets out on a cookie sheet. Bake at low temperature for an hour or more until completely dry. Test by crushing a dried cricket with your fingers. If they do not seem completely dried out, roast them some more. However, be careful not to burn them as they taste terrible scorched! Let cool.
Dry Roasted Crickets have a nutty flavor and are very good eaten plain with a sprinkle of salt. They are also very tasty as a substitute for nuts in dessert and cookie recipes. Dry Roasted Crickets can also be blended into flour to be added to bread flours to make lots of different recipes. ”
I guess I feel a little comforted by the fact that they said “lobster” in there somewhere. Anthony Bourdain, as I recall, described lobsters as giant sea-roaches. I know, academically, that lots of people eat these. All this does not change the fact that insects have been on my food no-no list since, well, since I first compiled a food no-no list.
Even though I’m doing an awful lot of complaining about this I am taking some measure of pleasure from the fact that my kids are willing to try something new and unusual as disgusting as this new and unusual thing is to me. If they end up eating them -and they’d best eat the darned things if I give up some of my precious dark chocolate for the project- I will take pictures and post them.