You will need to begin with live lobsters, then either steam then or boil them until they are done. If you prefer to boil them, you will need to put four pints of water in a big pot with a couple of tablespoons of salt. Bring the water to a vigorous boil, and then drop the lobster in headfirst. Cover the pot. When the water reaches a boil again, boil the lobster for ten minutes for the first pound of weight, then three more minutes per additional pound. So a two pound lobster would take thirteen minutes, for example, and a three pounder would take sixteen. If you would prefer to steam it, put a steaming rack on the bottom of a big pot and add a couple of inches of water to the pot, along with a tablespoon of salt.
Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Put the lobster on the rack and cover the pot. When the water begins to boil, start timing it, giving the lobster fourteen minutes for the first pound of weight, and an extra three minutes per additional pound. This means a two pound lobster will take seventeen minutes, and a three pound one will take twenty. Rinse the lobster under lukewarm water then twist off both claws. Next twist off the tail and remove the meat by inserting your finger into the hole where you pull off the flippers and pushing. Try to keep the shells almost intact, since you can serve the finished dish in them.
Lobster Newberg (often misspelt as lobster Newburg) is made with butter, sherry and cream, although you can use Half & Half if you only have that. It was invented by Ben Wenberg, a sea captain who was in the fruit trade. It was sold in Delmonico’s Restaurant but when Wenberg fell out with Delmonico, the name of the dish changed from ‘Lobster à la Wenberg’ to ‘Lobster Newberg’ which is an anagram. The old recipe called for the lobsters to be boiled for 25 minutes, then fried in clarified butter and simmered in cream and Madeira wine but the recipe has been fine-tuned over time.
- The meat from a pair of 1½ lbs lobsters or one 3 lbs lobster
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup light cream
- ⅓ cup dry sherry
- 2 egg yolks
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Buttered toast, to serve
- Lemon wedges and fresh parsley, for garnish
- Gently heat the cream in a pan over a medium heat, without scalding it.
- Whisk the egg yolks with the sherry and salt.
- Add the sherry mixture to the cream and whisk.
- Cook over a low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat a spoon.
- This will take about 7 minutes.
- In another pan, melt the butter over low heat, and add the paprika and pepper.
- Add the lobster meat to coat, and then pour in the sherry mixture and heat thoroughly.
- Spoon the lobster mixture back into the shells.
- Serve with buttered toast and lemon wedges, and garnish with a sprig of parsley.
This dish might look complicated but it is not. If you are out to seriously impress, then this lobster Newberg recipe is sure to do just that. The creamy sauce which features sherry, paprika and butter, really complements the lobster flavor, and this dish is reminiscent of lobster thermidor. The pinkness of the lobster and the cream-colored sauce looks attractive, and adding a sprig of parsley adds a splash of color to the dish. Serve this at your next dinner party and get the guests all talking excitedly about the magnificent feast which you have created for them.
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