Monday, June 28, 2010

An Amazing Lobster Newburg Recipe

I wanted to give you readers a wonderful recipe for Lobster Newburg, but I realized even though I've made Newburg through the years, that I was ignorant of it's origins.  So I did some digging and made a few discoveries that you may find interesting.

Delmonico's Restaurant
56 Beaver Street
New York, New York

"Lobster Newberg. Also "lobster a la Newburg"...The dish was made famous at Delmonico's Restaurant in New York in 1876 when the recipe was brought to chef Charles Ranhofer by a West Indies sea captain named Ben Wenberg. It was an immediate hit, especially for after-theater suppers, and owner Charles Delmonico honored the capatain by naming the dish "lobster a la Wenberg." But later Wenberg and Delmonico had a falling-out, and the restauranteur took the dish off the menu, restoring it only by popular demand by renaming it "lobster a la Newberg," reversing the first three letters of the captain's name. Chef Ranhofer also called it "lobster a la Delmonico," but the appelation "Newberg" (by 1897 it was better known under the spelling "Newburg") stuck, and the dish became a standard in hotel dining rooms in the United States. It is still quite popular and is found in French cookbooks, where it is sometimes referred to as "Homard saute a la creme."...The first printed recipe appeared in 1895."
---Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink, John F. Mariani [Lebhar-Friedman:New York] 1999 (p. 187-8)
         Famous patrons of Delmonico's restaurant were Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray and Abraham Lincoln. On a historic note, Samuel F.B. Morse sent the first transatlantic cable from a dining room at Delmonicos. 
Delmonico's is also known for serving and creating BAKED ALASKA and EGGS BENEDICT.

The recipe I use is an old one by Maine Sunday Telegram food columnist Marjorie Standish. Her cookbooks are some of the first in my 100 or so cookbook collection.
She calls this

1 pound lobster meat (Okay so this is part lobster and part crab, it's hard to get this fresh in Germany!)
Pretend it's all lobster.

1/2 cup Sherry or Madeira
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2-hard cooked egg yolks
1 and 1/2 cups cream, plus 1/4 cup milk
generous dash nutmeg
dash of cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons Velveeta mexican (that's my addition, you know I can't leave a recipe alone! You don't have to add this, but we like it)

Soak cooked lobster meat cut in bite-size pieces in sherry for 1-2 hours in refrigerator.

Make a paste of the soft butter, flour and the hard-cooked egg yolks .

I rub mine through a sieve.

Now combine this paste with cream, milk, nutmeg and cayenne pepper.
When the sauce begins to thicken add the Velveeta. On a low heat continue stirring constantly until thick.
Drain the sherry from the lobster meat. If you love the taste of Sherry than add a shot of Sherry, if not, don't add it.
Now add your lobster meat to the sauce and stir until meat is hot.

Serve on Toast cups.

To make these, use fresh bread and cut off the crusts.
Press the bread into muffin tins so that the 4 points stand up. Bake at 400 F degrees until brown.
In Germany I baked them on 200 C degrees.

Garnish with fresh parsley and salt and pepper to taste.

Here you have it, Marjorie and Mimi's collaboration to make

Mac gives the Newburg a thumb's up, but he would have preferred
Madeira in it instead of Sherry.  Sorry Mac..... I have to work with what I have!

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