Serve this great tasting shrimp Newburg over rice, puff pastry shells, or on toast points. Add a salad or steamed vegetables for a fabulous meal.
The classic dish Lobster Newburg (or lobster a la Newburg) was made famous in 1876 by Delmonico's New York City restaurant. Chef Charles Ranhofer got the recipe from Ben Wenberg, a West Indies sea captain, so it was first named lobster a la Wenberg. Because of a falling-out between the restaurant and Wenberg, the dish was taken off the menu. Because of its popularity, it was brought back with a new name, lobster a la Newberg (a play on the name "Wenberg"). Chef Ranhofer also called it "lobster a la Delmonico," but the name "Newberg" stuck. The spelling, however, had changed to "Newburg" by the late 1800s.
The sauce is a rich cream and egg yolk sauce flavored with a small amount of sherry and cayenne pepper. This version of the famous recipe is made with shrimp and optional mushrooms instead of lobster, and while the nutmeg adds some extra flavor to the sauce, it is optional.
See the tips and variations below the recipe for some additional ingredient ideas and substitutions.
- 1/4 cup butter
- 8 ounces sliced mushrooms, optional
- 2 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- 1 dash nutmeg
- 2 cups half-and-half
- 3 tablespoons dry sherry
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 2 cups peeled and cooked large shrimp (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds in shell)
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. If using mushrooms, saute, stirring, until golden.
- Blend the flour and seasonings into the butter. Cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes.
- Gradually add half-and-half and sherry to the roux; cook until the sauce is smooth and has thickened, stirring constantly.
- Beat the egg yolks in a small bowl.
- Whisk about one-third of the hot cream sauce mixture into the egg yolks. Add the egg yolk and sauce mixture back to the saucepan and whisk to blend.
- Heat to 175 F or until the cream sauce coats the back of a spoon.
- Add shrimp and heat through, stirring constantly. Serve the shrimp and sauce over puff pastry shells, rice, angel hair pasta, or toast points.
Tips and Variations
- Sprinkle servings with fresh chopped parsley or chives.
- Omit the mushrooms or replace them with steamed peas or a combination of peas and carrots.
- Seafood Newburg: Make the dish with half shrimp and half seared scallops or a combination of shrimp with chunks of mild white fish, lobster, scallops, or crab.
- Replace the sherry with dry white wine.
- If you don't have half-and-half, use 1 cup of milk and 1 cup of whipping cream.
- Spoon some of the shrimp Newburg over eggs Benedict for an elegant brunch dish.