Monday, April 30, 2012

Angels v. Devils

Two of my most favorite flavors in the world are oysters and bacon.  Recently, I came across a couple of recipes that combined both of these flavors.  The recipes are called "Angels on Horseback" and "Devils on Horseback."  A quick glance over the recipes and I knew I had to make these dishes. 

According to Wikipedia, Angels on Horseback are a hot appetizer of oysters wrapped in bacon that originated in England.  The first recorded reference to the dish was in 1888.  The dish eventually made its way to the United States shortly thereafter; however, it was never as popular as it was in England.  The height of popularity in the United States -- if one could call it that -- was reached in the 1960s, when, during the Kennedy Administration, the wife of Ambassador David K.E. Bruce, Evangeline Bruce, served this dish at her famous soirees in Washington, D.C. 

Add one ingredient to this recipe and the Angels become Devils.  All it takes is a few dashes of Tabasco sauce or, for that matter, any hot sauce.  The reference to "Devils" comes from the heat created by the hot sauce.  Although the recipe calls for only a couple of dashes, I like to use a lot of Tabasco sauce.  I would suggest at least two dashes for each oyster.  As for myself, I lost count of the dashes when I made the "Devils on Horseback." 

The most intriguing aspect of making both "Angels on Horseback" and "Devils on Horseback" at the same time is that both dishes will look identical when cooked.  One does not know if one is dealing with an Angel or a Devil until the first bite.  At that point, the true identity is revealed...


ANGELS ON HORSEBACK
Adapted from a recipe of the Oyster Company of Virginia
Serves 2

Ingredients:
6 oysters
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup of white wine
Salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
3 slices of bacon

Directions:
1.  Prepare the "Angels."  Mix the wine, garlic, salt and pepper together.  Add the oysters and marinate for ten to twenty minutes.  Preheat the broiler.  Cut each bacon slice in half and wrap each oyster with the half slice of bacon.  Secure each "Angel" with a toothpick.

2.  Broil the "Angels."  Broil each "Angel" on each side until the bacon is crisp. 



DEVILS ON HORSEBACK
Adapted from a recipe of the Oyster Company of Virginia
Serves 2

Ingredients:
6 oysters
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup of white wine
Salt, to taste
Ground pepper, to taste
Tabasco sauce, to taste
3 slices of bacon

Directions:
1.  Prepare the "Angels."  Mix the wine, garlic, salt, Tabasco sauce and pepper together.  Add the oysters and marinate for ten to twenty minutes.  Preheat the broiler.  Cut each bacon slice in half and wrap each oyster with the half slice of bacon.  Secure each "Angel" with a toothpick.

2.  Broil the "Angels."  Broil each "Angel" on each side until the bacon is crisp. 

PAIRING THIS RECIPE

This recipe calls for a white wine, and, really, any white wine will do.  A fruity, light wine always works well with oysters.  A smoother wine, such as a chardonnay, will also work well.  On this particular occasion, I paired both of these recipes with the following wine: 

Serpent Ridge Vineyard -- Albariño (2010)
100% Albariño
Carroll County, Maryland, USA
Flavors of green apple, apricot and a little peach

ENJOY!

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