Moving into 2019, getting more locally-centric recipes up on the blog is definitely on my agenda. And here on Chincoteague Island, it really doesn’t get any more locally-centric than the Chincoteague oyster, does it?
Renowned for it’s saltiness – you’ll find them gracing the menu at top-tier oyster bars all over the country. And, you can find them gracing the menu at the Davis table pretty often as well. Sometimes we get lucky and a waterman friend has a surplus, gifting us with a peck or two. Or, I scoot down the street to Gary Howard Seafood, where they’ve always got fresh oysters (along with lots of other great seafood) at a very reasonable price. Either way, they’re easy to come by this time of year here on our little island – even when nothing else is!
Of course they’re wonderful to eat on the half, or a fancier application like Oysters Rockefeller is always a hit. But, hard pressed, I’d say “single-fried” is our favorite way to enjoy them. This recipe adds a spicy twist to that local standard, which would be ideal for those gaming get-togethers coming up in the next couple of weeks!
Buffalo Fried Oysters
24 oysters, shucked (scrub and save shells for serving)
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp Old Bay
1 tsp kosher salt
vegetable oil (for frying)
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/3 cup hot sauce
2 Tbsp blue cheese (I used feta)
scallions, sliced (for garnish)
Line a baking sheet with wax paper or aluminum foil. Line another baking sheet with paper towels. Set both aside.
Combine cornmeal, flour, Old Bay and salt in a shallow dish (I use a pie plate) and mix well to combine. Dredge oysters well in flour mixture, pressing on the sides to get a good coating. Place oysters onto baking sheet with wax paper and repeat process with remaining oysters.
Place enough vegetable oil in a large heavy skillet to go up about 1-inch of pan. Heat to 350 degrees over medium-high heat. Drop oysters into the hot oil, about 8 at a time, until golden brown on both sides – turning occasionally. Remove from oil and place on the paper towel lined baking sheet. Repeat process with remaining oysters.
While oil is heating up prepare your Buffalo sauce by whisking the butter and hot sauce together well until combined. Toss the hot oysters with the sauce, and place each fried oyster into a shell for serving. Sprinkle with the blue cheese and scallions, and serve immediately.