A Bit of History on Lobster Newberg
A wealthy sea captain named Ben Wenberg introduced it in 1876 at Delmonico's,
the fine old New York restaurant of the Gilded Age. Charles Delmonico, the
elegant owner, loved it so much he named it Lobster a la Wenberg and put it on
It became a favorite for the rich and
the fat (synonymous in those days) for after-theater suppers. The two men had a
falling out with fisticuffs in the posh restaurant. Delmonico immediately
removed Wenberg's creation from his menu, but it was so popular, he had to
reinstate it. He got his revenge, by slyly replacing his nemesis's name with --
you guessed it -- Newberg.
1 lb. lobster meat
1 lb. crabmeat or scallops
1 lb. shrimp
1 1/2 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 C. celery chopped
1/2 C. roasted peppers chopped
3 T. butter
1 C. buttered breadcrumbs
1/2 C. sherry
6 T. unsalted butter
1/2 C. flour
3 cup whole milk
1/8 t. paprika, or to taste
1/8 t. cayenne pepper, or to taste
3 C. cream
9 egg yolks
Melt the 6 T. butter in a saucepan over low heat and blend in the flour. Cook
for 2 minutes, stirring, without letting it color.
Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, and cook for a few minutes, until the
sauce gets smooth and thick. Stir in the sherry, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
Lightly beat together the egg yolks and cream and stir them in. Heat the sauce
just enough to thicken it, stirring, but do not let it boil or the yolks will
curdle. (To allay fears of salmonella, the temperature should reach 165
degrees.) Salt and pepper to taste. Cool the sauce.
In a saute pan, melt the 3 T. butter. Add the celery and mushrooms and cook
until softened. Do not brown. Cool.
In a large bowl, combine all the seafood, roasted peppers, celery and mushrooms.
Mix gently to combine. Add mixture to a lightly buttered 13x 9 casserole dish.
Pour the cooled sauce over it. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs.
Bake at 350°F. for about 40 minutes. As soon as it starts to bubble around the
edges it is done.