Tuck Shop

Dr Fry has secret operatives all around the world keeping him abreast of greasy local issues and initiatives. One such Special Agent, Katherine Tuck, was sent on a field operation to the beautiful Isle of Skye, on a mission to investigate the quality of local fryup produce.

Actually she staying near Portree on holiday but was kind enough to send me some pictures to share amongst you beautiful grease-enthusiasts. After a tip-off from a local she was directed to a portakabin which didn’t look to promising to be fair.

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However once inside she was delighted to be looked after by the very friendly butcher who had some lovely-looking goodies on his counter.

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He must have thought Katherine was quite mad coming in taking pictures of him cutting bacon – “you’ll never believe what happened in the shop today love, some strange lass was taking photographs of me, *chokes with laughter* cutting bacon!”

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Here’s another shot of him at work, Not often you see someone hand-slicing bacon, I’m assured it was thick, even and delicious.

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Katherine’s haul included hand-made sausages, the bacon, black pudding, haggis, fruit pudding and Lorne sausage. I’ve not had fruit pudding on a fryup for years, so it’s gone on my list to review.

Here’s the absolutely gorgeous fryup that Katherine banged out at the end of her mission, she said the meats and puddings were  top-quality and tasted fantastic.

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Mission accomplished Special Agent Tuck, thanks for the pics!

 

 

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Hash Browns – An Exposé

I’ll just start by saying that a portion of hash browns, as they are now commonly made or bought, on a Full English Breakfast isn’t really my top preference in the morning. On a huge evening fryup I feel that they have some merit, but I also feel that there are more and better options for presenting the humble fried spud and that we might actually have been doing it all wrong for a long time.

The Hash Brown is an American import which has firmly established itself as a favourite on Britain’s greasy fryups. They were originally called “hashed brown potatoes” (or “hashed browned potatoes”), of which the first known mention is by food author Maria Parloa wrote about in 1888,

Or so Wikipedia would have us believe. But we’ll come to that in a bit…

In the UK, sadly the most popular choice is frozen blocks of processed potato deep fried. Cheap, nasty and absorb almost their own weight in the fat they’re fried in. Some caffs don’t change their fat very often and fry lots of different things in the same fryer. Just ponder on that one for a moment.

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The other option is to make your own, there are lots of variants but probably the most popular is a Swiss rosti-style affair using shredded raw potato with the moisture squozen out and sometimes customised with exotic  flavours then fried in a pattie shape like a burger.

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But…..

What if we’ve been doing it wrong? What if Hash Browns weren’t an American import, what if the origin of proper bona fide bull-goose Hash Browns went back centuries and were almost the opposite of sh!t frozen hash or solid rosti wannabees.

Please take a minute to look at this brilliant article by the Old Foodie, I agree with almost everything the author says here.

I’ve almost always conformed to the idea that a hash has to be a regular solid shape, usually a patty. It seems now that cooked loose is the proper way. I have hardly ever used raw spuds in my home-made Hash Browns. Potatoes are blanched or boiled, sometimes leftover surplus spuds or roasties from the previous night, which is bang on with the traditional recipes. The Old Foodie’s article has got me wanting to try a few of the recipes on there and bend them a little maybe. Of course if you fully subscribe to the idea that proper Hash Browns are actually a loose fried up collection of potato-rich leftovers then in theory, (dons tinfoil hat) Hash Browns are actually merely an inferior version of the mighty Bubble & Squeak. 

Mind=blown

Now I’m not saying that loose cooked fried spuds are better because they are ‘traditional’, positive change should be encouraged, we can’t live in the past forever but the past often has a few secrets which we can learn from and I think this is one of them.

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Hash Browns as described in the article are better because they are better. Ironically though, all of the top 3 Hash Browns I have experienced in a loose rather than solid style had North American origins. Moose Cafe in Liverpool city centre, a Canadian stylee place that didn’t do a fryup but did a mean mustardy soft and crispy concoction, a mad Bostonian relative who used to live off them but had straightforward diced and seasoned par-cooked spuds, fried on a cast iron skillet with onions down to a tee. The best though were when I was but a young Dr Fryling and drove out to Snoqualmie in Washington State to hang around all the Twin Peaks Locations. Yes, I was that sad. As well as having damn fine cherry pie and coffee in the diner that was used by David Lynch in the series (as it turns out just from the outside, the inside was built in a studio to mimic Mar-T’s) I had some breakfast and with it the most marvelous delicious soft spuds hard fried in bacon grease, and described as “home-fries”.

So there it is, out in the open, you’ve been doing it completely wrong for ages. I for one welcome our new soft spud loose-fried overlords and will most likely be banging them on my next fry to try them out.

 

 

 

A Tale of 2 Hog’s

This week I picked up 2 different types of Hog’s pudding made by two Cornish butchers trading barely a mile apart. I’ve tried them both, but the acid test is the opinion of  Mrs Dr Fry who was born in Devon, grew up in Cornwall and bloody loves her Hog’s Pudding.  It’s fair to say that they were both very different approaches to making a good old Hog’s.

Mrs Dr Fry fancied trying them this evening, she keeps her celebrity model figure and stunning looks by only having the occasional very modest fryup, so here is tonight’s-

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She scored 1/10 for the darker Hog’s from Pearce’s Quality Butchers from the top of her Mum’s road, it had a crumbly consistency and a huge nutmeg aftertaste. The one below it was from the Tregonissey Butchers and was less grainy, less seasoned and very porky, slightly like spam though. She gave it 4/10. For the record her 10/10 is ‘Luke’s Hog’s Pudding’ which sadly doesn’t appear to exist in this century. She has very graciously given my version 8/10, so still a bit of work there to do. She loved everything else on the plate though, especially the egg.

A Greasy ‘Zine – Adam Watkins AKA LIMBO

I love this. As your Doctor I recommend you purchase a copy of this immediately for the sake of your sanity, health and well-being.

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Adam has produced this limited run of his tribute to the mighty fryup. It only costs ten of your earth pounds INCLUDING postage. It’s really rather brilliant, he’s an extremely talented artist. No spoilers though. if you want to see inside the ‘zine then here’s all the contact info at the back of this seminal work on fryup culture –

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If you’re unfamiliar with Adam and his work, here’s a great place to start or just mosey on over to the LIMBO fb page and sample all the delights.

Edit: welcome to LIMBOLAND, Adam’s shiny new online shop place, please have a peek!

 

Captain Beany!

Whenever Mrs Dr Fry asks me if I might be getting just a little bit obsessive with my fryups, I refer her to the absolute legend that is CAPTAIN BEANY.

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The good Captain has raised a huge amount of money for charity and rather fantastically is also a Bono (from the popular beat combo U2) impersonator.

More info here – http://www.walesonline.co.uk/lifestyle/tv/captain-beany-says-building-baked-10873100

In other offbeat bean news….

 

The truth is out there.

 

Staffordshire Oatcake

They are like huge, delicious, thin, soft crumpets. Only widely available in Staffordshire or Derbyshire (where it is traditional to have them smothered in grilled cheese and wrapped around some bacon or sausages, or both!). I can’t rate them highly enough as the bready component of a fryup, they are absolutely gorgeous.

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I wasn’t in the mood for a huge fryup tonight but for the record this was – Edwards of Conwy dry-cured streaky bacon, Forestiere mushrooms, Bury white pudding, Old Cotswold Legbar egg, Sainsbos lamb, rosemary & garlic chipolatas, a lovely Edwards of Conwy best pork banger, Branston beans and of course two astounding Staffordshire oatcakes.

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Shardenfreude

Ross Taylor, self-made playboy billionaire tucked into this £38 breakfast at that London’s iconic Shard building this morning.

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Earlier, I had some correspondence with Ross, he told me “it tasted amazing, a bloody damn sight better than the crap bacon butty I got in the helicopter on my way back to the castle”

You’ve got to give the caterers some credit for keeping this feast below the £40 mark and give them a spank for the stray bit of flat leaf parsley placed upside-down.

 

 

End of the Road

Just got back from a Fry family road trip. Picked up some beautiful fryup bits in South Wales whilst visiting my beloved son and his lovely partner, then on our way back stumbled upon a Mecca of gorgeous food ingredients in the unlikeliest of places.

A service station near Gloucester on the M5. 

We were on a tight schedule so it was a bit of a mad dash around but to add to my already healthy haul I picked up these, the black pudding is truly something special and the Gloucester Old Spot streaky is the best streaky I’ve ever had. Ignore the smoked garlic, it’s for something else entirely…

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You can obtain Doreeen’s mail order if you can’t get it locally, I would urge you to consider it …  Turner & George

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When we eventually landed back at Fry Villas, once the fires were lit and the child was put to bed, pans were rattled & I have just finished this superb fryup.

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Have a fantastic week fryup enthusiasts.

The Fryup Art of Adam Watkins

Adam Watkins, also known as “LIMBO” is a talented illustrator and notorious graffiti artist who has been producing some stunning images featuring fryup ingredients. Here are just a few of his recent works:

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Dr Fry understands that original images like these can be purchased from Adam at a very reasonable price and that he also takes commissions.

You can contact Adam through his Facebook page where you can see some of his other works, please mention “Dr Fry” to receive a generous 0% discount.

Whatever you do though, don’t describe his style as “modern anthropomorphic caricature”….