What kind of local fish or shellfish to buy and prepare at home in the Portland area?
- loraxc Aug 2, 2009 09:44 AM
We'll be on vacation in the Portland/Sebago Lake area this coming week. We know where to eat out, but plan to cook at home when out at the lake (nowhere to eat in those parts, really). Would like tips on what fish and shellfish is best and freshest at this time of year, and where to buy it (fishmarket or grocery?)
Also, what produce is good and local right now? Is it tomato season yet?
I should mention that we are mainly vegetarians, but for environmental reasons. We make exceptions when in ME, but would prefer to buy fish that is not horribly overfished or really destructive to harvest. With that in mind, I am a good cook, but not very experienced with fish, for obvious reasons; suggestions welcome.
My favorite fish store is Portland Lobster and Fish Market right behind Becky's Diner in Portland. They don't have a big selection but there are two things that you can count on - very fresh seafood and good prices. Haddock, lobster, sometimes live crabs, sole, clams, squid and farm raised mussels are local, fresh and almost always available. They also have clams, Maine shrimp in the winter and farm raised salmon. They occasionally have other seafood like tuna and swordfish.
We buy our fish there as well and have never had anything but fresh fish. There are available parking spots as well. We just recently bought some line-caught swordfish (great for environmental/humanity's sake) that was excellent. As any chef will tell you, fresh fish needs very little (if at all) manipulation with the flavor. Nothing wrong with just a little olive oil, basil maybe, s&p on the fish. And please, eat the skin! It's the tastiest part!
First batch of tomatoes are coming in to season now; mostly cherry/sungolds. Fresh beans are also starting to infiltrate the farmer's markets alongside the ever-abundant zucchini. Check out the farmer's market in Portland (monument square, downtown) on Wednesday and then get your fish on the way home. Enjoy -
Don't forget blueberries! Here in NH some local orchards have ads that fresh peaches are in season. In our home garden we're still picking sugar snap peas. Beans and zukes are prolific. If the farmer's market in Portland is as good as the one in Brunswick, you'll find plenty of things to cook. Our local farmer just started selling corn last week. I overhead someone at the Brunswick market say corn would be in "next week" which would have been July 24. At the very least, enjoy fresh blueberries and yogurt but I'm dragging out my blueberry recipes this week to make some desserts. (We have a travel trailer so when we 'camp' I cook most nights and love it.)