Introduction: Not So Vegan Fried Tarantulas on a Stick
This recipe really bites. No need to guess WTF is Kentucky Fried.
An amusing appetizer for ghoulish cocktail hour or for snacking vampires who are still hungry after a long night's shift.
Don't be mean and pull off the bloomin' legs to eat, close your eyes and eat it whole.
Calm down people, it's just fried mozzarella sticks.
DISCLAIMER: No arachnids were harmed in the production of this ible. Cows, sheeps, buffaloes, goats or yaks may have been exploited for their dairy products...and a chicken.
Step 1: Itsy Bitsy List of Ingredients...
A good stringy cheese is best for this recipe.
They happened to have some prepostprocessed string cheese sticks on sale at the market this week.
I think they are of the mozzarella variety but you can use most any kind of cheese that is not too runny when cooked.
The cheese is shaped, breaded and fried.
For the breading or coating, you will need
flour or cornstarch to dust all over
Italian style flavored bread crumbs, you can use plain or fresh, whatever you have on hand
Any seasonings you like, you want to make a spicy Buffalo Tarantula?
The dipping sauce can be anything you like. Ranch dressing or just a plain tomato marinara sauce on the side.
Some bamboo skewers to hold everything together. You can cut them in half if you don't need them that long for serving. They will fit better in the fryer with shorter lengths.
A frying vessel (not a flying wessel) with hot hot oil for frying.
Step 2: Piece Meal...
Remove the string cheese from the plastic packaging, mine came in individually wrapped serving stick packs.
Use a sharp thin knife to slice up the parts for our faux or mock tarantula.
I laid out some plastic wrap since the cheese will tend to stick to plates and other smooth surfaces.
I just based the size of my tarantula on the what the length of the cheese stick was.
Slice to about halfway in on each side to form 3 thinner legs from one cheese stick.
Take another stick to form a set of double legs. Trim down the first set of legs to be a bit shorter than the others. You can eat the remnants as you go along or use the excess you trim off to fill out the other body parts.
Trim small pieces to form the abdomen and head parts.
Press lightly while holding the entire tarantula shape together. You can then skewer horizontally.
Step 3: Easy As 1, 2, 3...
This is the traditional way of breading your non traditional appetizer.
You can spice things up by dusting all over with dry seasoning like chili spice or just some ground cayenne pepper.
Dust the tarantula shape with corn starch or flour.
Dip in egg wash next. It is just beaten egg with a tiny bit of water or cream added. You can spoon the egg wash over the item to evenly wet all surfaces if you do not use a brush or if the container is too small to fit the skewered object. You might have to reach in there to spread the pieces that have stuck together.
Coat the wet object in bread crumbs. Be sure to coat between each of the legs.
You can double dip in any remaining egg wash to give it a better coating.
Set aside to "dry" so that the coating really gets stuck to the underlying cheese.
Step 4: Toil, Toil, Boil and Trouble...
CAUTION: Learn how to cook. Learn how to fry. Hot oil is dangerous. Know what you are doing in the kitchen.
Preheat your cauldron of oil to about 350 degrees F.
Gently slide in one breaded tarantula.
It should bubble nicely if the oil is good and hot.
Cook only until lightly browned.
I have found that the cheese will somehow breach the breaded coating and leak out into the oil, get hot and burn into deep fried unrecognizable bits.
Step 5: How Do You Spell Cephalothorax...
Try to drain most of the oil from the fried tarantula while still hot in or near the pot. If you do rest it on paper towels, the melted cheese may on its own start to ooze out all over. It will stick.
When warm, you can pull off pieces and see what kind of spidey web you can make with the melted cheese filament.
Place on a serving platter.
Accompany it on the side with a dipping sauce such as a tomato marinara.
So go treat all the tricksters out there.