Crunchy Critters Cocktail
Serves three to four people
- Forty gram mix of mealworms, crickets or grasshoppers
- Half an iceberg lettuce
- One or two ripe avocados
- Two limes
- One tomato
- Sixty ml of Marie Rose sauce
- Half teaspoon paprika
- One tablespoon parsley
- Two tablespoons olive oil
1. First make the Marie Rose sauce by placing six big dollops of mayonnaise into a mixing bowl with one tablespoon of tomato ketchup and mix. Add one teaspoon of Worcester sauce, twelve drops of Tabasco, half teaspoon of paprika, half teaspoon of white pepper and juice of half a lemon. Mix thoroughly and set aside.
2. Firstly get all the cocktail ingredients ready in separate bowls. 1) Shred the iceberg lettuce, rinse well then toss in a sieve to dry and squeeze on juice of half a lime. 2) Skin the avocado and remove stone and pip (on the thin end), roughly chop into small chunks and place under water to stop it going brown. 3) De-seed the tomato and finely dice.
3. Mix the Crunchy Critters’ insects in a bowl, use any combination of the insects or just one type if preferable.
4. Build it! 1) Use four glass dessert bowls or whatever you’ve got to serve, divide the lettuce between the bowls and spoon on the avocado. 2) Sprinkle on one tablespoon of the insects and follow with a large dollop of the Marie Rose sauce. 3) Sprinkle over the remaining critters and the diced tomato building it up in the middle as you go.
5. Finish with a small dusting of paprika and the parsley, drizzle with the olive oil and serve with a wedge of lime and some crusty bread.
Cricket Kofta Patties
Makes six to eight patties
- Vegetables – one onion, one carrot, two sticks of celery, six mushrooms, one clove of garlic, half courgette, six mint leaves, a small sprig of parsley and one red chilli (optional)
- Spices- two teaspoons ground coriander, one teaspoon ground cumin, one teaspoon paprika, one teaspoon za’atar and one teaspoon harissa paste (found in most health food shops and also optional), half teaspoon turmeric, half teaspoon thyme, quarter teaspoon cinnamon, two teaspoons white pepper, one teaspoon sea salt
- Six slices of brown bread made into breadcrumbs
- Two eggs, beaten
- Fifty five grams Crunchy Critters mealworms or crickets (or a mix of each)
- Sunflower oil (for frying)
1. Check the crickets (if using) for any legs and remove as these are a bit unpalatable – the odd one or two won’t hurt! Place forty five grams of the critters into a food blender and pulse for two seconds at a time until a finely chopped consistency is achieved. Place into a large mixing bowl along with the bread crumbs and mix.
2. In the same food blender (no need to wash) place all the vegetables and fresh herbs and process until finely chopped but not puréed!
3. Heat a large frying pan and over a low heat fry the vegetable mixture stirring regularly for about five minutes. Add the spices and continue to cook for another five minutes stirring regularly. Allow to cool until cold enough to handle.
4. When the mixture is cool enough to handle scrape into the mixing bowl along with the insects and breadcrumbs, using a wooden spoon or your hands. Mix until well combined.
5. Add the eggs and the last ten grams of insects into the pattie mix and stir well. When mixed form the patties with your hands into small burger sized portions about two-three centimetres thick place on an oiled tray.
6. Put the large frying pan back on a medium heat, wait five minutes to come to temperature, add a tablespoon of sunflower oil and carefully with a slotted fish slice add the patties, beware of the hot oil spitting! Fry for about four-five minutes until golden then carefully turn over and continue to fry for another five minutes until a nice, gold colour is achieved. They are now ready to eat.
Enjoy these in pitta bread or wrap with some crisp lettuce, tomatoes, black olives and some yoghurt, or whichever way you want!
Makes six to eight medium patties
- Vegetables – one onion, one stick of celery, one medium carrot, one small courgette, two medium/large mushrooms, one clove of garlic
- One hundred grams breadcrumbs
- Fifty five grams Crunchy Critters Mealworms
- Fifty five grams Crunchy Critters Crickets
- Twenty grams Crunchy Critters Garlic Chapulines
- One teaspoon sea salt
- One teaspoon ground black pepper
- One tablespoon Dijon mustard
- Two medium free range eggs, beaten
- One teaspoon fresh parsley, oregano and/or thyme
- Place all the vegetables and garlic into a food processor and pulse for around ten seconds until the contents are finely chopped but not pureed.
- Stir fry the veg mix in a little olive oil for five minutes in a heavy bottomed pan.
- Scrape the par-cooked veg into a large mixing bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs, seasoning, eggs and mustard. Return the empty pan to a low heat.
- Put the insects into the food processor and pulse for no more than five seconds (hold back five to ten percent of the insects if you like to see whole insects in the burger). Put the pulsed insects (and whole insects if using) into the vegetable mix and using your hands combine well.
- Using your hands press the bug burger mix into even sized patties about three centimetres thick and place onto a tray with a little flour. Be sure to press the burger well, so there are no folds or cracks.
- Splash a little more oil into the hot pan and fry the burgers for three minutes each side or until golden brown in colour, turn down the heat on the pan and cook for a further four minutes until hot in the middle (seventy five degrees celsius).
- Enjoy your Critter Burgers in a bun with some fresh tzatziki or mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato and a bowl of chips or wedges.
Top Tip: For a spicy treat try replacing the Garlic Chapulines with Chilli Chapulines and add a fresh chilli or two at stage one.
Makes fifteen to twenty biscuits – Lovingly developed by Science Oxford
- One hundred and fifty grams plain flour
- One hundred and twenty-five grams unsalted butter
- Thirty-five grams grated Parmesan cheese
- Thirty grams grated mature cheddar cheese
- Eight grams Crunchy Critters Queen Weaver Ants (two packets)
- Half teaspoon of salt
- Add the flour, butter, Parmesan, cheddar and salt into the bowl of a food processor and use the pulse button to process until the mixture begins to come together and is evenly combined.
- Add the ants into the combined mixture and gently stir in.
- Bring the dough together with your hands and roll into a log about 4 cm in diameter.
- Wrap it in cling film and place it in the fridge to chill for 30-45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- After cooling take out of the fridge, remove cling film and cut the log into 5 mm thick slices, before placing slices on to a greased baking tray.
- Bake in preheated oven for 8-12 minutes or until pale golden and cooked through.
Cricket Carrot Cake
A simple recipe which partly exchanges wholemeal flour for cricket flour – makes one medium sized cake suitable
for 10-15 servings – Lovingly developed by Science Oxford
- 100g Crunchy Critters Cricket Flour (one packet)
- 100g wholemeal flour
- 2 eggs
- 200g light brown sugar
- 25g desiccated coconut
- 25g raisins
- 300ml oil
- 2 teaspoons raising agent
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Combine all ingredients stirring well to blend
- Pour the mixed ingredients into a greased, lined baking tray and place into oven for around forty minutes (until the surface is firm to the touch)
Top Tip: Decorate the icing with insects to complete the look
Chocolate Ant Truffles
Makes ten to twenty truffles – Lovingly developed by Science Oxford
- One hundred and fifty grams dark chocolate
- One hundred and fifty ml whipping cream
- Half cup cocoa powder
- Vanilla essence (small amount to suit taste)
- Six grams Crunchy Critters Wild Black Ants (one packet)
- Boil the kettle, and pour the water into a pan. Stand a heat proof bowl in the pan and add the chocolate; stir slowly and allow to melt. You can heat the water on the hob but don’t let it boil.
- Whip the cream.
- Combine all the ingredients, adding the melted chocolate slowly to the cream.
- When combined place in the fridge for two-three hours to cool.
- Once cooled remove from fridge and roll into balls.
Top Tip: Coat the rolled the truffles in cocoa powder or dip into melted chocolate.
Guide to Roasting Insects
The easiest method to roast insects is to lightly coat them in soy sauce and encase them in tin foil. Initially roast them within the tin foil before opening the foil out to finish the insects off in direct heat. By following this method the insects not only get steamed in soy sauce but also get crisped off prior to consumption. Top Tip: For a spicy treat add a splash of Tabasco Pepper Sauce, sprinkle of crushed peppercorns, Chinese five spice, paprika or dried chilli powder. Alternatively up the ante by adding a couple of crushed garlic cloves within the tin foil.
Pre- heat oven to 160 degrees centigrade (320 degrees fahrenheit) before placing the soy marinated Buffalo Worms in tin foil for 7-8 minutes. Next open up the tin foil and rattle the Buffalo Worms to make ensure they’re not sticking together. Place back in the oven for a further 2-5 minutes until they’re dry to the touch.
Pre- heat oven to 160 degrees centigrade (320 degrees fahrenheit) before placing the soy marinated Mealworms in tin foil for 9-10 minutes. Next open up the tin foil and rattle the Mealworms to ensure they’re not sticking together. Place back in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes until they’re dry to the touch.
Pre- heat oven to 160 degrees centigrade (320 degrees fahrenheit) before placing the soy marinated Crickets in tin foil for 9-10 minutes. Next open up the tin foil and rattle the Crickets to ensure they’re not sticking together. Place back in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes until they’re dry to the touch.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees centigrade (356 degrees fahrenheit). Whilst waiting for the oven to warm up remove their legs and wings. You should be able to nudge the legs off quite easily. To remove the wings lightly grip the abdomen before gently squeezing the upper wing joints between your thumb and index finger. Place the soy marinated Locusts in tin foil for 10-12 minutes. Next open up the tin foil and rattle the Locusts to ensure they’re not sticking together. Place back in the oven for a further 3-5 minutes until they’re dry to the touch. Try enjoying your Locusts with a cool crisp beer or the light semi sparkling Spanish Rosé “Hacienda de Lluna” Moscate.