Recipe Courtesy of:
Gastronomic lore tells us that the forerunner of this famous lobster dish was actually created at Delmonico's, the well-known New York City restaurant, during its heyday in the latter part of the last century. Mr. Ben Wenburg (or Wenberg, as some believe), a Delmonico's habitué during this period, is said to have devised a dish made with seafood, cream, and egg yolks. It was called Wenburg on the menu until some time later when the epicurean Mr. Wenburg became involved in a dispute with the management. Thereafter, the restaurant renamed the offering seafood "Newburg," and a classic was born.
three 1 1/2-pound live lobsters
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon medium-dry Sherry
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon brandy
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
cayenne to taste
4 large egg yolks, beaten well
toast points as an accompaniment
Into a large kettle of boiling salted water plunge the lobsters, head first, and boil them, covered, for 8 minutes from the time the water returns to a boil. Transfer the lobsters with tongs to a cutting board and let them cool until they can be handled. Break off the claws at the body and crack them. Remove the claw meat and cut it into 1/2-inch pieces. Halve the lobsters length-wise along the undersides, remove the meat from the tails, discarding the bodies, and cut it into 1/2-inch pieces.
In a heavy saucepan cook the lobster meat in the butter over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes, add 2 tablespoons of the Sherry and 3 tablespoons of the brandy, and cook the mixture, stirring, for 2 minutes. Transfer the lobster meat with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Add the cream to the Sherry mixture and boil the mixture until it is reduced to about 1 cup. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon Sherry, the remaining 1 teaspoon brandy, the nutmeg, the cayenne, and salt to taste. Whisk in the yolks, cook the mixture, whisking constantly, until it registers 140°F. on a deep-fat thermometer, and cook it, whisking, for 3 minutes more. Stir in the lobster meat and serve the lobster Newburg over the toast.
Yield: 6 servings