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Culinary SOS

Hangtown Fry Recipe Was Once a Miner's Delight

June 18, 1987|ROSE DOSTI | Times Staff Writer

Dear SOS: I had Hangtown Fry in Las Vegas and I understand it is rather common the the West. If possible I would like to have the recipe.

--WENDELL

Dear Wendell: The editors of "American Heritage Cookbook" (American Heritage/Simon and Schuster) give this account of the gold miner's dish. "According to some Californians, Hangtown Fry was created in 1849. A miner from Shirttail Bend hailed into Hangtown with a poke full of nuggets, plunked his fortune down on the counter of Cary House, and said he wanted the finest, most expensive meal they had. When he was told that oysters and eggs were the most expensive items on the menu (in those days whiskey was $1,500 a barrel, turnips $1 each), he told the cook to put them together and serve up the food. The dish was made, originally, with the small Pacific Coast Olympia oysters." Here is the recipe from the book.

HANGTOWN FRY

12 oysters

Flour

Salt, pepper

9 eggs

Fine cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons butter

Drain oysters on paper towels. Dip each oyster in flour seasoned with salt and pepper, then dip in 1 well-beaten egg, then in cracker crumbs. Melt butter in skillet and fry oysters a few minutes or until nicely browned on both sides. Beat remaining 8 eggs with salt and pepper. Pour over oysters and cook until firm on bottom. Turn with large spatula and cook second side 1 or 2 minutes longer. Makes 4 servings.

Dear SOS: I would like to have a recipe for a refreshing Mexican beverage called horchata. It is made from rice and has cinnamon-sugar in it.

--PHILLIP

Dear Phillip: It's an unusual drink and would make a conversation piece if served as part of a Mexican fiesta party.

HORCHATA DE ARROZ

(Ground Rice Drink)

1/2 cup rice

3 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon, heaping

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch, blended with small amount of cold water

3/4 cup powdered sugar

Combine rice and 2 cups water in saucepan. Bring to boil and boil about 7 minutes, until rice is tender, but not soft. Place rice in blender. Add remaining 1 1/2 cups water and blend. Add cinnamon, cornstarch mixture and powdered sugar and blend again.

To serve drink, combine rice mixture with water in proportion of 2/3 cup rice mixture to 1 cup water. Stir and add more powdered sugar, if desired. Serve over ice. Makes 3 3/4 cups rice mixture.

Dear SOS: Several years ago you published a recipe for Pecan Sticky Buns. They were delicious and a family favorite. I've misplaced the recipe in moving. Is a replacement possible?

--CELIA

Dear Celia: Yes, they are quite a wonderful pastry for brunch and snacks with coffee or tea.

PECAN STICKY BUNS

1 cup milk

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup butter or margarine

1/4 cup warm water

1 package cake yeast

1 egg

4 cups flour

1/2 cup honey

2 cups brown sugar, packed

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

Scald milk and stir in granulated sugar, salt and 1/2 cup butter. Cool to lukewarm. Measure warm water into large warm bowl, sprinkle or crumble in yeast and stir to dissolve. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, egg and half of flour. Beat until smooth.

Stir in remaining flour to make stiff batter. Cover and refrigerate dough at least 2 hours. Melt remaining 1/2 cup butter and stir in honey, 1 cup brown sugar and 1 cup chopped nuts. Spoon mixture into well-greased muffin pans. Combine remaining 1 cup brown sugar and remaining 1/2 cup nuts.

Remove dough from refrigerator and divide in halves. Roll out each portion to 12-inch square. Sprinkle each with brown sugar-nut filling and roll up jellyroll fashion. Cut into 1-inch slices and place, cut side down, in prepared pans. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Bake at 350 degrees about 25 minutes. Makes 24 buns.

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