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johnnyd

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Everything posted by johnnyd

  1. People began noticing swarms of squid under the pier lights on Northhaven island recently, startling even the Old Timers. http://www.workingwaterfront.com/articles/A-New-Fishery-in-Maine/14963/ Portland restaurants and fish markets have always ordered their squid from Port Judith, Rhode Island, where the local Portuguese community consider it essential to their cuisine. No one bothered to consider it here in the Gulf of Maine, but I've noticed "locally-caught" signs on squid displays just in the last two months. Glen Libby - President Port Clyde Fresh Catch: Some say the this year's warm water - the possible cause of lobster's early molting this year - might have brought squid to more Northern climes, but in the article, Mr. Libby remembers seeing them all over as a child. When I was a teenager in Southern Portugal, each July we would see lots of little lights floating off shore about 200 meters. They were squid fishermen in small boats. They were in little groups, and you could hear guys talking, laughing, and occasionally singing as they floated on the current. Of course, there were tons of squid for sale the next morning, and more than a few squid specials on the restaurant menus. Needless to say, I am ecstatic about this new development.
  2. Bresca is certainly worth it - an experience. But so is Miyake - almost unreal. Please try to fit them in. Perhaps a generous sampling of his inventive appetizers before hitting the Fore Street reservation? Rob's ghost is secure - his best guys bought the place and started Eventide oyster bar next door (see above) too. I wasn't impressed with the lobster role in a steamed bun, but there are other creative things to try. Have a great time !!
  3. The soft-shell (shedder) lobsters are everywhere. Price: $3.79 Lobstermen are confounded by the sheer quantity, and the historically low prices. Some wondered whether to tie up for a while, but that - it turns out - is unlawful... http://www.pressherald.com/news/are-lobstermen-keeping-their-traps-shut_-_2012-07-15.html
  4. There is evidence that Gulf of Maine shrimp biomass measurement is all screwed up. Survey data from one scientific study is way off of another one, then the shrimpers are saying the biomass seems on schedule in it's 11 or so-year cycle. It's been called one of the few dependable sustainable fisheries out there.
  5. Nothing says "I Love You" like a nice, roasted halibut head. Outstanding
  6. Chix or hard shell? Soft shells. The warm winter got them in shore early, and I guess there's a lot of them. We picked up 5 for $28 Sunday. Another interesting local seafood note is that there appears to be a nascent squid trapping fishery. Harbor Fish Market on Custom House wharf had squid for sale at $5.49/lb that was trapped off Richmond Island, out near Cape Elizabeth. A fellow there said they arrived squirming. I bought a pound and prepared them in a tomato/onion/garlic/herb/paprika stew-like dish.
  7. Lobsters are selling for $3.99/lb (1-1/8) and $4.99/lb (1-1/4) on Portland's waterfront. Can't recall so low a price in a while.
  8. Story here: http://www.themainem...not-philosophy/ Eventide Oyster Bar had a soft opening Monday. Former tenants Rabalais Books (a strictly culinary themed bookstore) were invited and took some great photos: http://www.rabelaisbooks.com/blog/?cat=15 I will have to check it out and report back!
  9. Magnificent. I love octopus, and they occasionally hit my market. Pressure cooker sounds like a perfect tool - thanks! Edit to add: This is one of 6 babies I cleaned, simmered w/cork and broiled back in February - it's 3" accross
  10. Save yourself time and download the other four - I litterally could not put them down this winter, never mind the TV shows. I've found some interesting dishes that I actually remember from the books - Shrimp and Persimmon soup (cold, as it turns out) - Honey-spiced locusts - Goat with sweetgrass, firepods and honey ...and lemoncakes - Sansa's favourite. I think I'll have to get this bloody book!
  11. George Martins fantasy series "A Song Of Ice And Fire" is spread out over a medieval world with long lost ingredients, yet these two intrepid authors tracked down many of the well-described feasts in the books and compiled original recipes and their modern equivalent. Their blog samples some of the menus here: http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/
  12. Boston.com recently posted 40 Clamshacks just in time for the New England Summah 2012. http://www.boston.com/travel/explorene/galleries/new_england_clam_shacks/ If anyone visits them, let us know
  13. You guys are clearly having fun. Doing pork belly in steamed bus as well - store bought buns though. Belly was blanched for a few minutes and rubbed w/5spice, garlic powder and salt. They await a slow roast tomorrow. ETA: Branston pickle sounds delicious - I just stuff a small handful of cilantro in mine
  14. Gulf of Maine lobstermen are seeing soft-shell (shedders) in their catch three months early. This has never happened in recorded lobster season history. story here: http://www.theforeca...es-maine/123131 This is a quiet period for lobster fishing. Most harvesters are on shore fixing gear and painting their boats. Normal harvest is about 2 million lbs versus 20 million in August/September. We had an abnormally warm winter this year, so the ocean temps (about 48F now) could be bringing lobsters to shallow water to molt early. Will they all be done shedding three months early too?
  15. Celebrated Chef Rob Evans has sold Hugos, his astoundingly creative restaurant, to members of his talented staff. They are also revamping the adjacent space, recently vacated by culinary-themed Rabalais Books, into the Eventide Oyster Bar. Story here: http://www.themainemag.com/blog/2012/03/setting-the-record-straight-hugos-has-changed-hands-but-not-philosophy/
  16. johnnyd

    Chopped

    Portland, Maine, chef Melissa Corey takes the $10k last Tuesday with the following:
  17. I'm chums with some of the staff at Aurora - one chef told me last week he still didn't know the menu or the ingredients, and wouldn't until he walked into the kitchen that afternoon.
  18. The incredibly talented staff at Aurora Provisions served President Obama last night during a campaign swing in the Northeast USA:
  19. Some observations; - Island people use hand or push carts for grocery hauling. - There should be a garden or the chef could plant one the first week. That seems a no-brainer. - An alliance with a local lobsterman would be helpful. - Since there is spotty wireless/cable service on most islands, I would make sure your netflix account is current. As to the Agatha Christie remark (I guess I've been watching too much Revenge lately) the potential for employer dysfunction and head games is always there, but if you are stuck on a rock - no matter how beautiful - and you're left with no hair to pull out, would you go bananas with a rib knife or just stay ashore and disappear with the grocery money?
  20. This could be a blissful summer for the right person... ...or a nightmare from hell! How would you tackle this? Could Agatha Christie put it in her "ideas for later" pile? Notes: - It is on an island off Maine (Northeast USA coastal). - The island is serviced by a ferry - This is an authentic job posting.
  21. My thoughts exactly. And now I have a better road map for attempting an authentic Lebanese feast now that I see how it's done on and around the streets of lovely Beirut, better than any cook book.
  22. Outstanding blog, Hassouni! The snowy mountains look great. Fried fish just how I like 'em. The green market resplendent with tip top produce. Restaurants and cafes look homey and fun. And my favorite word for "eat"...
  23. Really enjoying your foodblog, Hassouni! I've always wanted to roam Beirut. Re: The Menu item, Disciplinary Kafta sounds, well, troubling... Carry on.
  24. The last of this year's Maine Shrimp - ceviche on avocado See you next year!
  25. 100% here as well. A like a bun that isn't so soft it disintegrates in the drippings though, but Focacia is just a burger train wreck of embarrassing proportions. Can't wait for this "great idea" to pass. Terrific IDEA!! I'm with Chris in believing photo efforts (NEVER use flash) detract from your restaurant experience, but with some adequate prep and practice, Shalmanese's method is the ticket
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