National Prime Rib Day!

It’s a meaty day, prime for celebration! It’s National Prime Rib Day!!!! Usually the stuff of proms and weddings prime rib is the most easily recognized celebrity meat.

yes, please.

yes, please.

The enormity of the entrée is the stuff of wonder. The tenderness of the meat is due to the amount of the fat in the cut’s area and the slow roasting cooking technique. As does the deliciousness, and some simple seasonings applied don’t suck.

I worked in an establishment that had the tastiest prime rib. It operated under different names over the years. Eileen’s and LL Chapman’s were staples on the Boston Post Road in Old Saybrook.  The chef was an old autocrat. Maurice Davies Blake was rumored to have cooked for the Truman Administration in the White House. He was very active in the CT Chef’s Association. The CT Chef’s Association’s membership also included my very dear Godmother Mary Marino (Their FIRST woman president) and her husband Joseph Marino. Maurice was a pain in the ass, and his food was the stuff of magic. The CT Shoreline (Yankee Key West) was eating Yankee Pot Roast, Hamsteak Hawaiian, Chicken Broccoli Alfredo, and Chicken Caesar Salad in the mid Eighties until their belts moved open a notch. These staples of his cuisine were so popular  throng of the same people lined up every Friday and Saturday to get some. Chef Blake told great tales of his former restaurant ‘Maurice’s, and Peggy’s too’ in East Haddam. He had a throne reserved for him in the lounge. He could see the entire goings on of his restaurant, and fans could line up to kiss his ring. He didn’t work the line in the evening, his talents best used in saucing and seasoning the prep for the night cooks. Things had to be as he wanted. Exactly.

Young Tony: (writing special board) Chef, what’s the soup of the day?

Chef Blake: Old Fashioned New England Corn Chowder.

Young Tony: (writes) Corn Chowder. 

Chef Blake: OLD FASHIONED. NEW ENGLAND. CORN CHOWDER. Write it like I told you or I’ll cut your god damned fingers off.

To be savored, Maurice in the above exchange needs to be read in a very thick Maine accent. 

His prime rib would run out every weekend night. It was that good, and the source of the expression, “While it lasts”. That last part may or may not be true. Maurice was so full of stories that you couldn’t discern bullshit from bouillabaisse. You would want to listen anyway as his Maine-iac accent was earcandy, like Tom Bosley’s in ‘Murder She Wrote’. The prime rib was in two sizes; King 16 oz, Queen 12 oz. You could almost cut it with a fork, it was so tender. The color was perfect red on the medium rares, pink on the medium cooking temperatures. The au jus was so amazingly perfect for it’s seasonings, we would consume it with loaf after loaf of fresh french bread. So what if our tables needed anything at that moment, we were in church. It’s twenty five years later and you can ask any long time Shoreline Resident if they know of this prime rib and they’ll smile broad and say, “oh, yes….”. Sigggghhhh. That was some good eating.

Go find some good prime rib tonight, you deserve it. Make your night a banquet you deserve.

DISH IT OUT EXTRA:

My favorite picture of Aunty Mary.

Aunty Mary and Julia

Aunty Mary and Julia

PSFC. (Portuguese Seafood Chowder) a love story.

For years the Portuguese Fishing community lived in peace

PSFC; Happy Birthday Mr Producer.

PSFC; Happy Birthday Mr Producer.

with the throngs (you read that right) of LGBT community that flocked to Provincetown MA. PTown, as it’s called, is the furthest point on Cape Cod. It was a haven for those wanting a peaceful life. Gays, artists and fishermen made PTown their year round home despite the cold wintry blows. It’s surrounded by water on three sides, a serene shore community fragrances with pine and jasmine. In the summer tourists cue up to take in the tonic that the beach brings.

Before tourism the Cape’s number one commerce for many years was fishing.  Swordfish, lobster, bluefish and cod were in abundance. With gays, artists and fishermen is residence the food consumed in PTown has long

Don't sweat the leaks. Sweat the leeks and celery.

Don’t sweat the leaks. Sweat the leeks and celery.

been incredible. Do you think any of them would eat anything but?? Portuguese cuisine is a rustic flavor trip with notes of cinnamon, spice, pepper and sweet. The families of the fishermen made great use of wonderful fresh fish and shellfish. Clam boils, roasted fish and amazing soups had wonderful earthy notes that tucked the appetite away, wrapped in a soulful way. Portuguese seafood chowder can be found on almost every menu in restaurants that line Route 6 all the way to the heart of PTown. Important elements of the soup were fresh shellfish and or fish, delicious broth flavored with saffron garlic and herbs, kale, potatoes, and spicy chorizo sausage. It was a great opportunity to clean out the fridge of leftover veggies. The magical broth and seafood bounty  were a great welcome to the table.

Recently DIO! Producer Michael Vinton Michael_4_10_12_067(Michael’s Funny Or Die Rihanna Parody here)

had a birthday that gathered his nears and dears. Family flew in to Los Angeles and guests were invited to #ComeHungry as you can imagine. A great New England Shore Dinner was planned to feed the thirty coming to celebrate the arrival of Michael’s next decade. His Mom and I rocked CostCo for the bounty needed. It being Easter Weekend, you can imagine the crowds. A late-hour snafu was discovered as the 32 gallon fryer/steamer was not going to participate in the ‘great New England Shore Dinner’. Normally the machine performs admirably, but it seems to be holding onto a grudge since Thanksgiving. With guests two hours away, a mad dash was made to assemble dinner IN BATCHES in three stock pots, keeping the catch warm in cater trays in the stove. Of course this led to some shellfish overcooking (Thanks Eric, we heard you) and a thirty minute delay for serving but all in all dinner was amazing for all to pick at. IMG_2272

Adult Swim!

Adult Swim!

So, why are we telling you this? Well there were bound to be leftovers. There is seldom an event that the food was plentiful and delicious. Plentiful leftovers and what was to make of our catch???? Of course the natural thing to be done was Portuguese Seafood Chowder  (PSFC) A fair amount of the Shore Dinner Broth was reserved. Extra Manila clams were steamed in sautéed leeks, celery and bay leaf with the magic broth. Then came the separating the clam from their shells. EVERYONE INTO THE POOL!!!! Leftover potatoes, corn, artichokes, asparagus hopped in. Next came sausage, andouille in this case. My inner Cajun falls out on occasion, deal with it.  In went fresh kale to keep it from going to mush. Finally cracked lobster claws and knuckles and shrimpies. The end result was epic, and had to be mobilized to good homes.

This PSFC may be an episode one day on the show,

Remember?

Remember?

Sausage?

Sausage?

but for now we hope this post  inspires your love for seafood, kale, purple potatoes and Portuguese food. It’s a recipe of inclusiveness, everyone’s welcome in the bowl.

Claws. Santa Claws.

Claws. Santa Claws.

Much like PTown at the end of Cape Cod.

PSFC, first class soup.

PSFC, first class soup.