Stinkbug salsa for Cinqo de Mayo!

It is Spring time and the stink bugs have been coming out of their hiding spots. Just in the past few days I must have killed a dozen already.   As they meet their demise under my shoes or down the toilet, I noticed that they smell very similar to cilantro.  This made me wonder if anyone ever made salsa with stinkbugs (a common question I am sure).

A quick internet search revealed that stink bugs can indeed be eaten safely* and they are indeed a good salsa ingredient.  Apparently cooking them significantly improves their fragrance and taste.  So in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and the stinkbug, I thought I would post this salsa recipe made with stinkbugs, just in case any of you are adventurous enough to try it out.   If this becomes trendy, it may help reduce the overpopulation of stinkbugs.

Ingredients:
20 stinkbugs (give or take a few)
4 small tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 jalapeño
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
Salt to taste

You can collect stinkbugs in your home or neighborhood, but these may be contaminated with pesticides or other harmful chemicals so I recommend going out in the woods, away from farms or neighborhoods to collect them.   If you aren’t up for stinkbug foraging, they can be purchased online.   Of course, you can find them on Amazon , but they are also available elsewhere, such as bizzarefood.com which sells the Korean variety of stinkbugs. 

 

Recipe:
Roast the tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeño in a hot oven or a skillet until they’re charred and softened. While they cool, toast the stinkbugs briefly in the skillet.

Add the stink bugs in a food processor and grind to a fine consistency, then add the peeled garlic, jalapeño, cilantro, and tomatoes. Mix to a chunky consistency. If you do not have a food processor, a mortar and pesle will work perfectly fine. Add salt to taste and enjoy with your favorite corn chips or add to your taco.

 

* Apparently eating “too many” of them may cause upset stomach and abdominal pain but I could not find any evidence that they are poisonous.  In fact they are considered a delicacy in some Asian countries, where the stinkbug originate.  I am not responsible for any illness you may derive from eating stinkbugs – this is all done at your own risk and enjoyment.

 

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Making French baguette using the “No-knead Recipe”

In one of my earlier post, I talked about how to make bread using the “No-knead Recipe”  It’s a great way to make bread, and if you haven’t tried it yet, you should.  It’s so easy and versatile.  I make bread nearly every weekend (the kids beg me).  This weekend, I made French baguettes.

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The bread was just amazing.   Perfect with the crunchy crust and moist airy inside you expect with the French Baguette.

To make baguettes, use the no-knead recipe mentioned previously.   After mixing all the ingredients, let the dough rise for 12-24 hours and then take it out and place it on a floured surface, just as if you were going to make a loaf.  However, this is where things change a bit.   Once out,  don’t fold it a couple of times like mentioned for the loaf recipe.  You need to minimize the handling of the dough in order to keep it light and airy, so that when it bakes you’ll get the light airy inside and a crusty outside you expect from a baguette.  What you should do instead is cut the dough ball in half with a large knife, then softly separate and stretch each half into loaf shapes.  Be careful, do not manhandle the dough too much!  Next,  gently place them on baguette baking pans, cover with a towel, and let rise another 2 hours.

baguette pan

Make sure to spray the pan with a little bit of cooking spray and place some corn flour on the bottom in order to prevent the dough from sticking to it.   After the 2 hour rise, preheat your oven to 475 degrees and place on the bottom rack a large pan filled with water.  Once the over is hot, place your loaves into the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes.  The water in the pan will keep the humidity high in your oven, to help form the crusty crust you need.   And voila, you have freshly baked delicious baguettes!    Serve with your favorite meat, cheese, or dipping oil and enjoy!

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