The first time I had to make Lobster Newburg as part of the recipes I had chosen among dishes that are believed to be originally from New York City, I freaked out. Back then, I found it complicated, challenging, and for even worse I had a lot of brand before I finished cooking, which made the experience even worse. Now I have cooked it a few times, and each time I seem to love it more than the first time. And, really, there’s nothing hard about it–if it’s your first time cooking it, that’s how you should think about it.
salted boiling water (2 tablespoons salt)
1/4 cup butter
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp dry sherry
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp brandy
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon (a pinch) freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 pinch salt and 1 pinch freshly ground pepper
4 egg yolks
2 live lobsters, weighing about 1 1/2 lbs each
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh tarragon
toast pieces (as many as needed as an accompaniment)
HOW TO MAKE IT
To steam the lobsters, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place the lobsters in, head first, and boil for 8 minutes, covered. Allow them to cool on a cutting board, break off their claws and crack their tale for meat. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch pieces.
For the creamy sauce, melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and cook shallots until softened, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant and before it burns. (Garlic burns easily and you can’t correct burned garlic.) Add 3 tbsp sherry and brandy, each. Bring to a simmer and cook for 4 minutes. Now add cayenne, 1 pinch salt, nutmeg, heavy cream, black pepper, and simmer for 4 minutes, now on low heat.
Whisk the yolks in a large bowl, and temper by slowly adding 1/2 cup of the sauce to the yolks. Add the new mixture back in the skillet, whisking constantly for 1 minute.
Add the lobster meat, tarragon, parsley and remaining sherry and brandy. Serve on toast.