National Lobster Newberg day has been the one I have been dreading since I began this blog. I’m not sure why. I’ve certainly killed my share of shellfish over the years. There was a time, not so long ago, when I think I might have been single-handedly trying to commit genocide against the entire species of the blue crab. Of course, I also love the lobster like everyone else. Lobster Newberg just sounds really fancy and difficult, I suppose.
My first nibbles of research didn’t alleviate anything for me, either. Lobster Newberg has a very old and colorful past with a crazy old Frenchman, far and distant travels, and even one of New York’s most landmark and fancy dancy restaurants, Delmonico’s. Today’s dish is supposed to have originally been named for a man named Ben Wenberg who had discovered the dish along his many travels. On a stop in New York, he had shared it with Charles Delmonico himself. He and all his customers found it so yummy, that “Lobster Wenberg” became a permanent part of the restaurant’s menu. It was only a matter of time, however, before crazy old man Wenberg, at this point a regular at Delmonico’s, ranted just loudly enough for Charles Delmonico to blister with so much anger that he banned the dish’s namesake forever. Of course, the Lobster Wenberg was a staple of the restaurant at that point, so he wasn’t going to pull it off the menu. It would just have to be named something new. How about, Newberg?
Scary enough, right? Once I got into making the dish though, it turned out to be no more scary than whipping up a batch of french toast, and it didn’t even call for a single bit of baking! Well, I did use the oven a little, but no one really it was just Pillsbury.
You know something else? I cooked with a shallot. Yep! Went to the store, strolled right over to the produce department, stood in front of the green onionish area, and slowly realized that I had no idea what a shallot is. After a step into the corner, and a Google search on my phone, I couldn’t believe it was just a little onion! A really hard to find onion, apparently, and in the scheme of things a pretty expensive one!
After it was all said and done, however, the most interesting thing about lobster Newberg came while I was eating it. It was delicious, like some kind of desert dinner! Then, as I’m eating this fantastic design, I found myself realizing that the sauce is so good, it doesn’t even have to be Lobster Newberg. This recipe would work with shrimp, it would work with scallops, I’m telling you this recipe would work with a diced skinless breast of chicken. The only thing I did that spun off the recipe slightly was that instead of half & half, I used half vanilla almond milk & half 2% milk. Almond milk is pretty rich anyway, so I think all in all I got it right on!
See you Monday for National Waffle Day.. maybe Nougat too.