40th Annual National Oyster Cook-Off Winner

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I had the privilege again this year to judge the National Oyster Cook-Off at the U.S. Oyster Festival in St. Mary’s County. The grand prize winner was Marty Hyson’s Crispy Buffalo Maryland Oysters on Blue Cheese Grits. Give it a try - you are going to love it!

Crispy Buffalo Maryland Oysters on Blue Cheese Grits

  • 4 tsp. kosher salt, divided

  • 1 1/2 C. Quick thickening grits

  • 2 C. half & half

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter

  • 3 oz. blue cheese crumbled

  • 1/2 C. blue cheese crumbled small for garnish

  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 C. thinly sliced celery

  • 1 pint Maryland oysters, drained

  • 2 C. buttermilk

  • 1 C. flour

  • 1/2 C. cornmeal

  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

  • 1 tsp. paprika

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper

  • 1/2 C. melted butter

  • 1/2 C. your favorite hot sauce

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 2 C. vegetable oil for frying


Bring 6 cups of water to boil in a sauce pan. Add 1 Tbsp. salt and grits, pouring slowly while whisking slowly. Stir in half & half and butter and bring to a boil over medium heat until thick. Cover for 40 minutes or until smooth and creamy. You may add more cream if needed. Remove from heat and stir in blue cheese, 1 tsp. salt and pepper.

Maryland Oysters

Drain the oysters and let them soak in buttermilk until ready to fry. Combine flour, cornmeal, salt, cracked pepper, paprika and garlic powder in large bowl. Dredge the oysters and fry until crispy brown (2-4 minutes). Set aside on paper towel to drain excess oil. Mix melted butter and hot sauce and set aside.

Arrange 2-3 fried oysters with skewer and place on top of the grits. Drizzle Buffalo sauce on the oysters. Garnish with celery and blue cheese. Sprinkle with cracked black pepper and lemon juice.

Serves 4