As we charge our way through a cracking spring like a boatload of rampaging white men through any indigenous tribe they came across, we have nothing but the glory of summer in full flight, wings spread and soaring high above like some kind of really big bird (not big bird though because I am positive that big yellow bastard can’t fly), to look forward to. That is, if you live among us in the southern hemisphere. For those of you who live in the northern hemisphere it shall be getting colder because of the hand of mother nature and the world wide effect known as “opposite day”… or possibly opposite season… or perhaps it even has a more technical term that people who wear glasses might know. Alas, I do not wear glasses (although I am meant to), so that information is beyond my grasp.
But anyway, this isn’t a story about the climate on the coast of eastern Australia (I think I may have mentioned it as a prelude to needing a fresh seafood dinner but… meh), this is a story about bugs.
Not the thousands of bugs that that some how find themselves swimming together in the Olympic regulation insect pool that is my bathroom sink every morning, possibly negating the fact that they had never taken swimming lessons. And not the ferocious bugs that were the sworn enemy of Earth’s troops on Klendathu. No, I am talking about the damn well sexy tasting bug that is know to us as Thenus Orientalis, the Slipper Lobster or, in Australia, the Moreton Bay Bug (probably due to our love of just, well, making other peoples things our own out here. Like what we did with Russell Crowe).
I bet you’re wondering how I came to have bugs in my possession, or possibly how to get rid of your excess ear hair. Well, gather ‘round, for all shall be revealed in my following ramblings.
Dr Chris (my dear Jennee’s DNA test proven father) is staying with us at the moment as Jennee is away and quite frankly, those boys of ours need 24hr supervision. Now, Dr Chris is a lover of seafood, and by seafood I mean food he can see… and reach out and grab… and send on a Contiki tour of his belly. So Dr Chris crossed my palm with enough gold for me to pay a little visit to our local fish monger and return home with some of King Neptune’s finest fare. With which I made this pasta…
I’ve got nothing for the excess ear hair PS.
MORETON BAY BUG AND PRAWN SPAGHETTI (for 6)
1kg fresh prawns, peeled, deveined and generally just made to look a lot more edible
3x 250g Moreton Bay bugs, cut in half between the eyes and poo poo removed
1x 500g pack dried spaghetti or, if you want to get all renegade about this shit, what ever pasta you’d like
200g good, smoky bacon*
4 tomatoes, finely diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 long red chilli, chopped
A splash of white plonk if you have some
A knob of butter
Salt and pepper. Always with the salt and pepper
Lemon wedges (don’t think you can omit the lemon wedge ok? That final squeeze of fresh lemon juice really makes this dish sing) and some of the baby rocket from Jennee’s garden, to serve
• Start by getting some oil hot in a large pan
• Add the bugs and bacon and a little seasoning to get the party started. Turn the bugs every minute or so
• After 4 or so minutes the bugs should be just about cooked (they will turn an orangey-red colour and the flesh will firm up. Check by pulling a bit out of the tail if you’re unsure – you don’t want to over cook these puppies at the price you pay for them) and remove from pan
• Add prawns, chilli and garlic and sauté for a further two minutes or until prawns are just about cooked
• Return bugs back to the little party in the pan, as well as tomato and a splash of white plonk, if using
• Add pasta and a knob of butter, just to guild the lily a little, and heat through for one minute
• Check seasoning and adjust if necessary, and get that shit on the table plenty pronto, garnished with some baby rocket and a pile of fresh lemon wedges
*I got my bacon from Mr Greg Cromwell around the corner from me at Cromwell Farms. He breeds old school pigs like Berkshire, and lets them run around in fields like pigs should. Then he kills them and gets another nice gentleman to cure and smoke his bacon (no, that is not a euphemism you dirty little gutter snipe) and every now and then has a pop-up shop at his farm so regular people, just like you, can go along and try his wares and try to get out without his daughters selling you something. If you’re ever in the Northern Rivers you should look him up because he has the good shit. Right here is a good start.
And just in case you’re wondering, I paid for my bacon.