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Monday, August 29, 2005

Hangtown Fry--for oyster lovers

This recipe for Hangtown Fry is an oldie but as we found it's a goodie. If you can't do oysters in the morning, then try this in the evening. Either way, it is surprisingly good and offers a new but classic way of getting creative with oysters. It is fully tested and ready to roll, but please do give me your feedback. Thanks!

Hangtown Fry
A miner walked into a restaurant in Hangtown, California, in 1849, carrying a sack of gold over his shoulder. “Give me your most expensive grub,” he ordered. The cook said he could cook up some oysters and eggs, two very expensive ingredients in those days. The miner told the cook to add some bacon and this famous dish was born, or so legend has it. You won’t find Hangtown in an atlas, by the way; the name has been changed to Placerville.

Serves 4

Oysters
1 dozen small oysters, shucked
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
1 egg, well beaten
1/2 cup fine cracker crumbs or dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup butter
8 eggs
8 strips bacon, cooked

1. Preheat the oven to broil.
2. Drain the oysters and pat them dry with paper towels. In a small bowl, use a fork to combine the flour with the 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper. Dip each oyster in the flour mixture, then the beaten egg, then the cracker crumbs, and set aside.
3. Melt the butter in a heavy, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the oysters and fry them until they are nicely browned on both sides, about 1 minute on each side.
4. Beat together the eggs with a fork, season them lightly with salt and pepper, and pour them over the cooked oysters in the skillet. Cook until the eggs are set on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Place the skillet in the oven on the top rack and broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot, with the bacon on the side.

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