Baconfest 2010 – Hangtown Fry


Since the origin of this recipe dates back to a time and a place where the noose swung freely and often, I now must wonder if any of the hangman’s customers were culinary patrons trying to get the taste of fried oysters out of their mouths or unsavory criminals??

Thirty years ago, my Phi Delta Sigma chums and I spent many a time enjoying the merits of steamed shrimp, fried chicken, and raw oysters on the half shell. With the Pope (not that Pope, but he did have a red and white popcorn bowl for a hat…) leading the charge, we all had the best of times, including the raw oysters, usually taken straight from the shell, with the help of a little red cocktail sauce.

Continuing on with my tribute to Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon, this week we are on page 158 – Hangtown Fry.

Quite the interesting story, get the book and read it if you can [ISBN-13: 978-0-964-89564-5.] In the meantime, if you want to try a new twist on the traditional, staid bacon & eggs, try this one out…

Hangtown Fry

4 tablespoons oyster crackers, crushed
3 to 6 oysters, shucked
2 – 3 slices bacon, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons bacon fat
2 large eggs, beaten
salt / pepper to taste

Dredge the oysters in the crushed crackers, allow to sit for a few minutes.
In a non-stick skillet, cook the bacon.
Take the cooked bacon out, set aside. Crumble when cool.
Add the extra bacon fat to the skillet. Reduce the heat slightly.
Carefully place the breaded oysters in the skillet. Stir gently, frying the oysters until breading has browned.
Add the beaten eggs, salt and pepper to taste, and the crumbled bacon.
Stir gently until the eggs are done to your liking.

My experience: I had an issue with the breading coming off the oysters, so I ended up with fried oysters sans breading. Other than that, it worked as advertised!

It’s been a long time since I have ordered oysters of any type. I ate these with a bit of trepidation, but succeeded. I guess without the ambiance of a Phi Delta Sigma meeting, it’s just not the same. I’ll live, but will be glad when the last two oyster recipes are behind me!


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