Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hangtown Fry

There is a famous breakfast dish here in Northern California called the Hangtown fry, its orgins date back to the California gold rush in the 1850's. The town central to where this gold mining operation took place is called Placerville in the Sierra foothills. Back in those wild and semi-lawless days justice was swift and often resulted in death by hanging, which gave this town the nickname of Hangtown. There are a few stories about how this dish of expensive and rare ingredients came about. One is that the miners with new found riches were able to afford this type of food, I like the story of the condemned men being given a choice of their last meal before hanging, they would choose the hangtown fry with its basic ingredients of fresh oysters, bacon and eggs. The oysters being delivered fresh on ice from San Francisco a hundred miles away, it would have to take a day or two to arrive thus buying them some extra time here on earth. This famous dish can still be found on the menus in some bay area restaurants.

Hangtown Fry

3 fresh organic eggs
3 Small Freshly shucked Pacific oysters
1 Strip thick smoked bacon, diced
Kosher salt/Pepper

1. In a nonstick pan cook the diced bacon till crisp, remove.
2. Dust the oysters in seasoned flour and fry in the bacon fat till cooked and crispy
3. Remove the cooked oysters and blot on paper towel.
4. Beat the eggs and pour into a greased hot pan, cook till just set.
5. Arange the cooked bacon and oysters on the eggs and serve hot.
6. If you are in Placerville, quickly get out of town when finished eating!

1 comment:

Sam Sackett said...

I missed this dish, but there is more about Hangtown cooking in my novel SWEET BETSY FROM PIKE, in which Betsy runs a restaurant.