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The Hangtown Fry is one of the dishes in my 1,000 Foods to Eat Project.
1,000 Foods to Eat Project
Last year, I purchased the book 1,000 Foods To Eat Before You Die, by Mimi Sheraton. The back of the book jacket states that the book contains "the tastes, ingredients, restaurants, dishes, and recipes (more than 70) that every food lover should experience or dream about." As I am a food lover, I certainly didn't want to miss out on anything, so I purchased this book and began my project.
My project is to try out each of the 1,000 foods. I will write more about this amazing book another time. In the meantime, I will say this book has a wealth of information about world cuisines. I find it an absolute joy and challenge to take on this project, and my hope is that you'll come along with me on this journey and try out these foods as well.
California - Hangtown Fry
So on to the Hangtown Fry.
Did you know that the state motto of California is "Eureka!"? Eureka is Greek for "I have found it" and most likely refers to the discovery of gold in the state. The California Gold Rush started in 1848 and ended around 1855. From this rich history comes our dish which originated in California, called the Hangtown Fry.
Legend has it that a prospector who struck it rich walked into the Cary House hotel, and demanded the most expensive dish that the kitchen could cook up. The Wikipedia entry states: "The most expensive ingredients available were eggs, which were delicate and had to be carefully brought to the mining town; bacon, which was shipped from the East Coast, and oysters, which had to be brought on ice from San Francisco, over 100 miles away."
"Oysters for breakfast?! Well, I wasn't a fan of that, so I cooked up the Hangtown Fry for dinner instead. Even so, I believe this is a dish that you either love or hate... but it's worth trying if you have even a small amount of fondness for oysters just to say you've given it a go. I used canned oysters to keep the cost of the dish down, but fresh oysters are best.
I love the history behind the Hangtown Fry, but I confess I am not the biggest fan. However, I am glad I tried it and knocked off my first food of the 1000 Foods Project. Only 999 to go. 🙂
California Hangtown Fry
- 5 eggs lightly whisked with ½ ts black pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter split
- 8 oz canned oysters (I used ½ can of Bumble Bee - ½ can was leftover and can be used for snacks!)
- ½ cup flour
- 3 strips bacon fried and crumbled
- 1 green onion sliced
- Fry the bacon until crisp and drain on paper towels. Crumble and set aside. Keep the bacon fat.
- Drain and pat dry the oysters. Dip the oysters into the flour to coat and set aside.Fry the oysters in the bacon fat (med high heat), until golden brown. It may take 5-7 minutes. Drain excess bacon fat on paper towels.
- Heat up ½ tablespoon of butter in a nonstick pan (omelette sized - stove set on med high heat) Pour ½ of your whisked eggs into the pan. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, lift up a small portion of the edge of the eggs so that the runny and uncooked egg slides into the open space in the pan. Continue doing this a couple of times, and then turn your heat down to medium.
- Sprinkle ½ of your crumbled bacon and ½ of your fried oysters over the egg. Continue cooking (lifting up sides and letting the runny egg slide into the open space continue cooking as necessary) until most of the egg has set.
- Lift up one side of the omelette and turn it over ¾ (see picture). Keep warm in the oven, and repeat for your second omelette.