Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Sign in to follow this  
johnnyd

Gulf of Maine Shrimp - 2008/2009

Recommended Posts

Today's Portland Press Herald 2.1.09 features an interview with Fisherman Craig Pendleton (see his pics in post #22) who is contemplating life without fishing on the Maine Coast,
Pendleton, 48, is trying to sell his boat, and last month started taking classes toward a business degree at Husson University in South Portland. For the third-generation fisherman, it is more than a career change. It's the end of a way of life and a family heritage.

"I'm the last Pendleton to fish out of Camp Ellis," he said. "I held out for as long as I could."

The Mainers who still drag nets for cod, haddock, flounder and other groundfish are the survivors, the most resilient of a hardy breed. But, like Pendleton, many of them are re-evaluating their futures and contemplating new careers, even in the midst of a historic recession.

This breaks my heart. I used to work with a bunch of Maine fishermen and wish them all the best.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Again I will recommend Colin Woodard's The Lobster Coast to anyone who's interested in how the Maine fishery got to this point.

Colin does nail it in his book. BTW, he's a great guy - known him for years. Had a couple pints with him a couple weeks ago right after he returned from a fact-finding trip in Iceland. Links to his stories for the Christian Science Monitor and other publications here.


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Captain Pendleton's shrimp were devestatingly delicious.

Behold the blue plate special,

gallery_16643_6323_66480.jpg

That's a thing of great beauty.


Edited by Peter the eater (log)

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ran into an old pal who slings a lot of fish on the waterfront.

I was thrilled to hear he has developed a market in Manhattan for Maine shrimp. I imagined a string of reasonably good restaurants but to my surprise he told me it was a couple fish purveyors in Chinatown.

He puts 10 pounds in a special styrofoam container and off they go, arriving the same day. Apparently, they are very pleased and the orders are steady. Trust the Asians who know a good thing when they see it.


"I took the habit of asking Pierre to bring me whatever looks good today and he would bring out the most wonderful things," - bleudauvergne

foodblogs: Dining Downeast I - Dining Downeast II

Portland Food Map.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Written on 12 Feb 2009 (Originally appeared on CI BB)

Celebrating Maine's Sweet Taste of Winter

Last night, my friend Roxanne called asking if I’d like to go with her to get some fresh Maine shrimp. Last winter, we would go quite often, but so far this winter I’ve been reluctant to take on the job of cleaning pounds and pounds of fresh whole shrimp by myself. One person can only eat so many and I haven’t had good luck freezing them.

So, I agreed. I brought $2 with me so I would limit my purchase to just two pounds and derail my normal dockside over-purchasing habit. At 5:30 we pulled into the parking lot at the Camp Ellis jetty, just as dusk was quickly turning to night. The boat was steaming towards us, about 300 yards from the shore. As the skipper was dislodging several large ice floes keeping the boat from being able to be tied up, I could see the beautiful shrimp in their tubs at the aft of the boat. The diesels wound down, the tubs were hoisted to the dock, and the captain plopped down his trusty scale on the tailgate of his pickup truck.

Waiting patiently, two old men were swinging their empty 5 gallon buckets, discussing their favorite cooking methods. I had all I could do not to jump into the conversation when one wished he had a better way to fry them. I didn’t think my version (heads removed, shell and tail on, egg wash and panko coating served with a glob of Asian sweet chili sauce) was going to make either of them pat themselves down for a pen and paper on which to capture such a outlandish recipe. Not either of these two old Mainers. Nah, boiling was their preferred way and they were sticking to it.

Another interesting person was ambling about the dock, and if Roxanne hadn’t greeted her saying, “Hello Alice,” I would have had to flip a coin if you had asked me to guess her gender. Turns out Alice had big plans for her evening – peeling 100 pounds of shrimp that she resells at $6 a pound. She said she has a young girl helping her, but it will take her all night and into the next morning (and at least one or two packs of smokes) to get them all shelled. The captain filled her 4 pails first and loaded them into the trunk of her Toyota Corolla. Wonder what that will smell like once the warm weather returns!

Anyway, by the time I got my meager 5 pound haul home (Roxanne lent me $3, because I was too embarrassed to ask for only two pounds), it was getting late and I had a pizza planned to go into the oven. Pizza with leftover white clam sauce, onions, fresh mushrooms and jalapeno slices! I thought I could hurriedly peel a bunch and toss them on my pizza in the final moments of cooking, but peeling them was more laborious then I remembered.

Maybe it was the way the shrimp were still dancing in the bag that made it hard to peel them. I prepped two vessels, one for the heads that was destined for the stove top for a nice stock and the other for the peeled bodies. The first one was a bear to peel completely, but I had to sample the sweet meat, laden with roe, that had been in the ocean only an hour earlier. Yum! I ate about ten this way, and then set about the task of filling my bowls. I compromised and kept the shells on the bodies for sake of expediency and ½ hour later had three pounds of shell-on shrimp ready. I thought maybe an overnight rest in the fridge might let death settle into their bodies making them easier to peel today (and I think they are).

These shrimp are a small consolation prize for enduring everything else a Maine winter throws your way, but there is no substitute for their sweet meat! All is forgiven.

-sabine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got my first Maine shrimp of the season at Whole Foods tonight, $3.99/pound. I cooked them for about a minute, then had them with a dipping sauce of lemon, soy sauce, honey, ginger, and scallion. Now I'm wishing I bought more!

My local Whole Foods was selling them today, same price. When I bought mine, I inquired, and the guy behind the counter said they'd started selling them only recently and that demand had been surprisingly high.

Only a little lemon and salt with mine, but oh so tasty. It never ceases to surprise me how flavorful these little guys are. Inspired by jonhnyd's picture above with the avocado, I'm thinking about a ceviche next--when something is this fresh, makes sense.



Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Driving around the area between Portland & Augusta this week, I noticed several fishmongers advertising Maine shrimp at $1.29 / lb. Astounding; I so wish I'd had a kitchen.

In other news, here is a story on the seasonal clogging of the Portland sewers with Maine shrimp parts.


Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...