Angels on Horseback

Dale Harper will not listen to argument. I love him dearly, but his opinions are unshakable. Dale has been cooking all his life, knows food, knows people, and will tell you in a heartbeat what will fly and what won’t. So, when I told him a dish with oysters and bacon would go over like a lead zeppelin, he laughed, patted me on the top of my head as if I were a schoolboy, and poured me another beer.

“Jesse,” he said, shaking a red beard longer than my forearm. “Your problem is you do not think! What you have are two ingredients that are simply made for one another! Consider the oyster, a creature of the seas, and while delicious on its own, is lacking in that one essential ingredient that is dear to the palates of us Homo sapiens.”

“Dale, you’re including me in “sapiens” when you just said I can’t think.”

“Be hush,” he said, swinging his beard around like a baseball bat. “You think, but you don’t think enough. You have to consider things in many lights and from many angles, in this case an examination of contrasts. The oyster lacks fat!” With that he plunged his forefinger onto the bar and then pointed it at me in a thoroughly superfluous gesture of accentuation.

Angels on horseback have been around for a very long time, and the recipe is simple: wrap oysters seasoned with black pepper in bacon. Pat the oysters dry and bring the bacon to room temperature before skewering; soak wood skewers to minimize scorching. Broil or grill until bacon is crisp.


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