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Here are some mouth-watering bug recipes!

Marc Dennis not only puts his insects where his mouth is, but he invites you to join him. Here are some recipes that are posted on his Insects are Food Web site.

Cricket Pad Thai

Serves six

8-10 ounces rice stick noodles

6 tbls. fish sauce

2 tbls. soy sauce

6 tbls. lime juice

4 tsp. organic sugar (Turbinado, etc)

4 tbls. peanut oil

1 cup crickets (see note)

3-4 cloves garlic

3 eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped

2 cups bean sprouts

1/4 cup crushed peanuts

1 lime (cut into wedges to serve to each person)

Combine the fish sauce, soy sauce, lime juice and organic sugar in a bowl and blend well. Pour oil into a wok or skillet, and cook the crickets over medium-high heat. Remove to bowl or plate. Scramble the eggs in the wok or skillet. When stiff, remove eggs to cricket-filled bowl. Add garlic and scallions to wok and fry until soft. Add sauce mixture, crickets and eggs back into the wok or skillet, and warm thoroughly. Cook rice noodles for about 10 minutes in boiling water. Remove and drain noodles, and add to wok or skillet. Add in bean sprouts and toss thoroughly, being careful not to break the noodles. Top with peanuts and garnish with a lime wedge.

A note about preparing crickets

Crickets must only be purchased from reliable sources and should be as fresh as possible.

Prior to preparing your crickets, place them inside a plastic container or storage bag and keep them in the refrigerator for at least an hour before using them to slow down their metabolism, inducing a state of hypothermia and prohibiting their movement when removed from container.

After removing from refrigerator or freezer, boil them with a few pinches of salt for about two minutes to ensure cleanliness. Once boiled, remove from water and let cool. At this point, crickets can be stored in the freezer or used right away.

Chocolate Chirp Cookies

Makes a dozen

2-1/4 cups cricket flour*

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

2 eggs

12 ounces chocolate chips

1/2 cup crickets

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In saucepan, heat chocolate chips until melted. Dip dry-roasted crickets into mixture and lay flat on parchment paper. In small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In large bowl, combine butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add cricket flour mixture and mix well. Stir in chocolate covered crickets. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

* To make cricket flour, start with four cups of flour and one cup of roasted crickets (legs removed). Crush crickets in a mortar or pulverize under a rolling pin. When they look like small specks, blend them into the flour of your choosing.

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