Gold Rush Hangtown Fry

During times of plenty when gold made miners rich overnight, they would sometimes indulge in a dish called Hangtown Fry. The strange concoction originated in Hangtown (now known as Placerville), which served as a supply base to California’s mining region. In the beginning of the Gold Rush the area was referred to as Old Dry Diggins, named after the miner’s practice of carrying dry soil to running water for washing gold. The name was changed to Hangtown after several men were hanged from a white oak tree in town for robbery, murder and other mining-related crimes. According to a story found in the Mountain Democrat newspaper, Hangtown Fry originated in the saloon of the El Dorado Hotel when a miner requested “the finest and most expensive meal in the house.” The cook presented the man with an omelet made with bacon and oysters, both costly imported ingredients, and thus the Hangtown Fry was born. It seems a perfect reflection of Gold Rush cuisine – made from the finest ingredients yet not at all elegant, the dish includes a mish-mosh of various regional ingredients held together by symbolic golden eggs.
Gold Rush Hangtown Fry
Adapted from pbs.org
Gold Rush Hangtown Fry

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Adapted from pbs.org

Ingredients

  • 3

    whole hen's eggs (if using Plover's eggs 4)

  • 1/4

    cup heavy cream

  • 1/4

    teaspoon of salt

  • 1/8

    teaspoon of nutmeg

  • a turn or two of your pepper grinder

  • 6

    small oysters alive and in shells

  • flour

  • 1

    tablespoon of cow's butter

  • 1

    tablespoon chopped parsley

  • 3

    strips of thickly sliced bacon

Directions

Into a pan heated to medium intensity, place your bacon and fry until crispy. Remove to a paper or cotton tea towel to drain and cool. Reserve the bacon drippings. Combine cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and oysters in a bowl and beat until egg yolks are just incorporated. Drop shelled (you may have to do that yourself if your mother is not available to help you) oysters into flour to coat lightly and suffocate. Tap off any excess flour. With the bacon grease still hot in the skillet on medium heat, introduce the oysters to the fat and brown on each side. About 45 seconds to one minute per hemisphere. Do not overcook, since a certain degree of juicy sweetness is desired of them. Remove from heat onto paper or other materialed towel. If the bacon grease is hissing and spitting at you, I find the best way to deal with such rudeness is to ignore it. Return to it once it has cooled down sufficiently to introduce it to it's new fat friend, butter. Add egg mixture to the butter/grease melange and treat suitably, as one might treat an omelet, say. When half way cooked through, crumble in some of the bacon, add the oysters, and cook the other half of the way. Remove your newly developed Hangtown Fry to some sort of plate and have at it while it is still warm.

Keyingredient.com uses 'cookies' to give you the best, most relevant experience. Using this website means you're ok with this. You can change which cookies are set at any time and find out more about them by following this link.

Please describe your issue: