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Lobster Newburg

For the second week in a row, plans were changed in order to make life simpler. We waited until the New Year to celebrate New Year's Eve.

Think of the restaurant markups on: two ounces of Sevruga caviar; three bottles of Moët & Chandon White Star; three good-sized lobsters. It was expensive enough just to buy the ingredients. I need say nothing about the champagne and the caviar beyond noting that M le Neveu and Ms NOLA, initially skittish about the caviar, did not need to be prodded to partake further.

And what did I do with the lobsters? I made that ancient classic, Lobster Newburg.

It appears that Stouffer's, the frozen-food provisioner, no longer offers this dish, which I remember well from childhood. What I don't remember is whether I'd ever had the real thing, made from scratch or served in a restaurant. A dim, blinking message suggests that I may have made it before. That would account for the intense familiarity of the dish's fragrance that just about knocked me on Sunday night: Stouffer's can't have been as liberal with the Cognac.

Lobster Newburg is a dish of sautéed lobster meat, flamed with Cognac and robed in a custard sauce of eggs and cream, served in pastry shells. To do it right, you kill the lobsters...

Continue reading about Lobster Newburg at Portico.


Bravo to the CAVIAR and champagne....but someday someone will enlighten me as to the wonders of lobster.....without butter, and lots of it, it is to be avoided. I do recall as I write this, though, that there was a restauarnt on 62nd right off Madison in the 80s that had a lobster club sandwich that was rather good, but that may have been the spectacular bread and mayo.......

I love the kitchen picture "wallpaper" beneath the recipe page on the site. I will recreate that dish as soon as I'm up to cooking again. How inspirational!

For some reason I'm always meaning to comment on your posts and rarely actually doing so. I think this trend started when I tried to respond to your past post about your music collection and my response never appeared on the site. I think I tried three times and then gave up. Then something happened in my brain to subconsciously make me think that because I had this problem once, I should never try responding again. Or something! I'm really not sure why I stopped trying since I love how you are so thoughtful and respond to so many of my posts and your posts almost always inspire some thought or idea in me that I really do want to share. So a New Year's resolution from me to break this baseless pattern. Also, please always feel free to post any comment I make on your site, unless I explicitly ask you not to, which I doubt will ever happen.

So - first, this recipe sounds simply fabulous. I have loved lobster ever since I was a small child. What I've never loved is the killing part. I am a woefully hypocritical meat eating leather wearing person who can't bear the thought of killing anything other than insects, or witnessing their killing.

Even with insects I can only bear it if they die quickly. In high school, we had to collect an insect collection one summer. I discovered fairly rapidly that insects don't die easily, without stepping on them which renders them fairly useless for school projects. A smushed insect collection really holds little educational value or aesthetic appeal. I was advised to use nail polish remover, a substance so noxious surely nothing could survive the plunge. In great horror movie fashion however, some bugs did survive not only lengthy two day plunges in nail polish remover, but subsequently lengthy periods of time stuck to a board with a pin. When I first realized one of these hardy survivors was moving days after being pinned, I went into a state of shock and revulsion that I don't think I've ever recovered from. Prior to that point, bugs had never really bothered me or given me the heebie jeebies. Thanks to this educational process, they have ever since.

So I can relate to the zombie lobsters that won't die. I think part of my problem with killing lobsters in particular is that, let's face it, they really are just giant bugs, or spiders to be more specific. I'm fine as long as I don't dwell on that reality. Think about it for just a moment too long and I'll be heading for the door, completely forgetting how much I love the darn things drenched in butter. But I just can't do the plunging into the boiling water part, and I doubt I could do the steaming part either. Probably putting them in nail polish remover would be a bad idea as well. If someone else does the killing for me, I can move past it and enjoy them.

Just one more story on lobster killing while I'm on the topic anyway - a friend of mine was first introduced to lobster as a six year old. Her Dad, an insufferable tease, thought it would be amusing to pretend the lobsters were screaming as he plunged them into the boiling water while she watched. Apparently there were a good number of them to be cooked and while one batch was in the water, a slew of them still awaited their fates in a cooler on the kitchen floor. So horrified was my friend by her father's charade that when he went back outside to join the barbeque while the lobsters cooked, my friend secreted the remaining live lobsters, two at a time, into the patch of woods by the side of her house and let them go. Who knows what the poor lobsters thought stumbling around with rubber bands on their claws in a wholly unfamiliar suburban subdivision habitat. By the time the deed was discovered, the lobsters had apparently scattered to some impressive distance and it took numerous guests combing the woods to gather them all up. Poetic justice for the Dad's sadistic joke, but the lobsters ended up in the same place regardless.

Please continue to post the results of your shrimp newburg experiments so we can learn along with you.

Happy New Year!


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