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Hangtown Fry

Printed From: Foods of the World Forum
Category: The US and Canada
Forum Name: California
Forum Discription: California
Printed Date: 25 September 2020 at 01:38

Topic: Hangtown Fry
Posted By: TasunkaWitko
Subject: Hangtown Fry
Date Posted: 12 September 2018 at 09:47
Here's one you might not have heard of: Hangtown Fry, which goes back to California's Gold Rush days. This write-up from Culinaria: The United States provides some background:

Quote A Gold Miner's Favorite: Hangtown Fry

In the Gold Country along the lower slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains sits Placerville, former center of the gold mining operations. With its unsavory mix of saloons, bordellos, boarding houses, dance halls and gambling houses, this was the quintessential rough-and-ready gold town. It is said to have earned the nickname "Hangtown" when three fugitive murderers were hanged from an oak tree at one end of Placerville's only street.

One day, so the story goes, a local miner - flush with newfound wealth after striking a vein of gold - sat down for a meal in town and placed his order by saying something along the lines of, "I want whatever is most expensive." Eggs, bacon and oysters fit the bill. The cook fried them all together in a skillet, and the Hangtown Fry was born.

This recipe, also from Culinaria is a typical example; the photo is from Saveur's Online Magazine. Some versions have the bacon on the side, while others have the bacon incorporated into the dish. Various herbs and/or scallions are a common garnish.

Quote Hangtown Fry

Photo Credit:

To serve 4:

12 oysters
9 eggs
Finely ground cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
*Bacon, either crumbled into the dish or on the side
*Herbs and/or thinly-sliced scallions for garnish

*Ron's note: These are added by me, based on my research and reading.

Break 1 egg in bowl and beat well. Drain oysters on paper towels. Dip each oyster in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then in egg, then in cracker crumbs. Melt butter in skillet. Add oysters and sauté until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes.

Beat remaining 8 eggs. Pour eggs over oysters in skillet and cook, lifting edge of eggs with spatula and allowing any uncooked egg to flow over the edge of cooked eggs, until eggs are set, about 4 minutes.

Using spatula, turn eggs over and cook until set, about 1 to 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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