Meet Your Fish Monger: Lauren

Name: Lauren Bitting-Ellis

Company Role: General Manager

What do you like about working at JB Kelly Seafood Connection?: I enjoy the friendships that occur within our company and sense of community with the markets we are at. I enjoy quality seafood, having access to it, and being able to bring that excitement to others especially in a land-locked state.

What’s your favorite seafood and way to prepare it?: Oh man. That depends on my mood. I will never turn down enjoying a whole lobster or oysters- I’ve prepared both a myriad of ways, but the simplicity of a cold lobster dipped in warm butter, or a freshly shucked oyster with a squeeze of lemon is hard to beat.

Are you a morning person or a night owl?: By nature I’m a night owl, by profession I’m an early bird, just a slightly cranky and not too with it one.

What was your first paying job?: My first two paying jobs that both began around a similar time were landscaping my grandparents farm- moreover their many flower beds, and teaching dance and gymnastics to 3-12 year olds at the local YMCA.

What’s the best concert you’ve been to?: Way too difficult of a choice. Top 5 in no particular order: Link Wray at Tramps in NYC 1997, Radio Head at Madison Square Garden 2019, Raconteurs St Augustine FL Amphitheater 2019, Iggy Pop Wetlands 2008, and Fugazi Stratford Rex UK 1999

Do you have any pets?: Yes- Huxley and William are Florida Swamp Mutt brothers, and Selket who is a rescue kitty.

Meet Your Fish Monger: John

Name:  John B Kelly IV

Company Role: Owner & Operator

What do you like about working at JB Kelly Seafood Connection?: I love how it evolved into the company it is!!! It’s not just a job, but it’s something I’m passionate about and enjoy doing. From visiting the lobster folk in Maine, to the fish cutters in Philly, all to source the best possible product is something I greatly enjoy.

What’s your favorite seafood and way to prepare it?:  I’ve been perfecting my “tailgate sizzle.” The fish of the week, plus in season veggies and some signature seasonings get sautéed in my pan via my cook stove that I set up on my tail gate.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?: I spend my extra time with family and friends-  hiking, paddling, and checking in my various trail cameras to see what creatures ventured by.

What’s the best concert you’ve been to?: Colter Wall

What’s the best place you’ve traveled to?: Maine, though Ireland is up there too.

Do you have any pets?: My dogs, Finn and Josie, and garage cat, Todd.

Lobster 101

Hello, seafood lovers! Here are some basic facts about your lobsters from J.B.Kelly Seafood Connection:

You can’t find lobsters any fresher and sweeter than this! They were swimming in the Gulf of Maine, 24 hours before you get them. Our fisherman friends in Phippsburg, Maine do all the trapping/hauling and we load them up at the local wharf just before you receive them. Our lobsters always have two claws and are soft/new shelled “Shedders” in late Spring, Summer and early Fall. Hard/old shelled in Late Fall, Winter and early Spring. Shedders are sweeter and easier to pick, while hard shells are packed full of meat. Average Lobster weighs 1.13-1.25 lb’s each.

Leftovers are delicious re-steamed, eaten cold, made into lobster salad, made into bisque, scampi’d or cooked whole on the grill. Once you receive your lobsters, keep them in cool and moist spot. They do best in the crisper drawer of your fridge or in an ice chest/cooler with ice on the top and bottom of them. Just make sure to keep them out of the melting ice water or other un-drained water in the bottom of the cooler. Aim for 33-38 degrees as your target temperature range to store them. Do not put them in water. They should keep lively for a couple of days, but if you notice them getting lethargic or not raising their claws upon picking them up…….steam them ASAP. After being steamed, your Lobsters will keep for three days. You can pick the meat out of the shell and chill it or just store the whole cooked lobster in the fridge.

Basic cooking instructions:

Your lobsters are best steamed in moderately sea-salted water. If you don’t have a steamer attachment, only fill the bottom of a large stock pot with 2-3 inches of salted water. Make sure you have the water at a full boil when you add the lobsters to the pot. Then simply cover them with a lid and steam for 10-15 minutes depending on how many are in the pot. One or two lobsters will steam a lot faster than a stockpot with 6 lobsters in it. Your Lobster will turn bright orange when they are done. Just be careful not to overcook your lobsters.

Overcooked Lobster meat could get rubbery in texture. I wouldn’t recommend boiling your lobsters, because this draws out their delicate flavor. Steaming them is always best.

The Green stuff inside your lobster is tasty and edible. Mainer’s refer to it as “tomalley” and it’s the lobster’s liver. It’s great eaten hot, cold or on a saltine cracker. You might even luck out and get a lobster with eggs/roe inside of them. This is also edible and called “coral”. Sometimes coral will stay dark brown or black if your lobster isn’t quite steamed entirely.

We carry picked Maine lobster claw and knuckle meat on our product list. Talk about easy pick’ins! An 8oz container is equivalent to almost two whole lobsters. It is great for making lobster rolls, lobster salad or lobster scampi.