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The Hangtown Fry

Contrary to what some may believe,
it's not an alternative to hangin'!

It's an omelette made of eggs, crisp bacon, and oysters! Served throughout the years by various restaurants in Placerville and San Francisco, it got its start when a wealthy miner walked into the El Dorado Hotel, asked for the most expensive meal, and was served this creation because (take your pick):

A. Canned oysters had to be shipped in from Boston, eggs were as scarce as pig feathers, and bacon was just as expensive.

Eggs, bacon, and oysters were the only ingredients the chef could find. Chickens were portable so the camp had eggs early on, oysters were prolific in San Francisco Bay at that time, and bacon would keep without refrigeration.

As served at Chuck's Restaurant in Placerville
Who Serves Up the Hangtown Fry?
Chuck's does!

At Chuck's Restaurant on Broadway in Placerville, you can lay down your gold dust and be served up the Hangtown Fry. They've been serving the "Hanger", as they affectionately call it, for 50 years now. Their regular clientele have kept the dish on the menu and going strong. Let's hear it for Chuck's!

Hangtown Fry #1

2 large eggs
1 tblsp. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
Dash pepper
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/3 cup oysters
All-purpose flour
1 tblsp. butter
1 tblsp. chopped parsley
3 strips crisp bacon or
browned link sausages

Break eggs into small bowl. Add milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Beat with fork just enough to mix yolks and whites. Cut oysters in half, if large; leave small ones whole. Dust oysters with flour. Melt butter in a 7-8" nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add oysters; cook 30 seconds on each side. Pour egg mixture into pan. As eggs begin to set around edges, lift edges and let uncooked egg flow underneath. When eggs no longer flow freely, run a spatula around edge of omelet and flip onto a plate, bottom side up. Sprinkle with parsley, garnish with bacon or sausages.

Hangtown Fry #2 (From the Placerville Junior League's California Cookbook)

½ lb. bacon
6 to 8 oysters
2 eggs, beaten
10 to 12 soda crackers
6 eggs
1/4 c. heavy cream
1/4 c. chopped parsley
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper
2 sprigs parsley

Fry bacon crisp and set aside. Remove all but 6 tablespoons of grease from skillet. Dip oysters in 2 beaten eggs, then in cracker crumbs, and fry them in bacon grease over medium heat, one minute per side. Beat 6 eggs with cream, chopped parsley and grated cheese in a mixing bowl; season with salt and pepper. Pour mixture over oysters in skillet, reduce heat to low and scramble eggs, lifting oysters so mixture surrounds them. When eggs are semi-firm but still moist, transfer omelet to a broiler to brown lightly. Serve on heated platter with bacon strips and sprigs of parsley. Serves 6.



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