~ Sinfully-Simple Sherry & Cream Newburg Sauce ~
Newberg or Newburg sauce is a 100% French sauce with an all-American name, and, is 100% associated with the famous dishes: lobster Newberg and seafood Newburg. That said, this sauce is not just for seafood. In fact, the sauce itself doesn't contain lobster or any other seafood, and, it isn't made with lobster or seafood stock either. It's a silky-smooth, sinfully-rich, liquor-laced cream sauce, originally made from cream, cognac, sherry, egg yolks and cayenne pepper. This combination of rather ordinary ingredients renders it very versatile -- perfect for saucing all sorts of fish, seafood, meat, poultry, egg and vegetable dishes. It is addicting!
On a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the hardest, I would rate my version and almost all modern-day scratch versions of this sauce a 1 or a 2. It is simple and straightforward, one can't take too much creative license with a classic, and, it's quick and easy, going from stovetop to table in about 10 total minutes. About the only mistake a novice can make with it is allowing it to simmer or boil, which will cause it to break (the fat will separate/float to the top), but even if that happens, if you remove it from the heat and keep whisking it as it cools down, it pulls itself back together. It's foolproof, which is why I never understood the need for manufactured alternatives.
Seafood Newburg (a dish of previously-poached, fork-friendly, mixed seafood stirred into previously-prepared Newburg sauce) and seafood Newberg (the same dish prepared using lobster exclusively) became very popular with homemakers during the 1950's, '60's and '70's because it didn't take a ton of time to make or a lot of skill to prepare. As with almost anything made with a cream sauce at the time, the cream-of-soup and packaged-dry-mix people stuck their two cents in and dumbed-down versions of this super-easy sauce began appearing everywhere. I know this because when I started making Newburg sauce as a new bride back in 1974, I was determined to never travel down either of those roads.
8-12 tablespoons minced shallots
4 tablespoons dry sherry
2 cups heavy or whipping cream
2 jumbo egg yolks
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
~Step 2. Mince the shallots as directed. In a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, melt the butter. Add shallots and adjust heat to saute, until shallots are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add sherry and continue to cook about 2-3 more minutes. Turn heat off.
~ Step 3. Stir in a small, 1/4-1/2 cup of the cream mixture. After that small amount is thoroughly stirred in, switch from using a spoon to a whisk and slowly drizzle in the rest of the cream mixture, whisking constantly. Over medium heat, whisking constantly (do not stop for any reason), bring the mixture to the point where if you do stop for 1-2 seconds, it is simmering. This will take about 3 additional minutes.
Seafood Newburg: Shrimp Scallops & Crabmeat!
(Just click on the Related Article link below for this simply-divine recipe.)
Special Equipment List: cutting board; chef's knife; 2-quart saucepan w/lid; large spoon; whisk
Cook's Note: I have a love affair with this sauce served drizzled on vegetables. It's fantastic on asparagus, which is in-season right now, but it's heaven on broccoli and cauliflower too. Check out my post, ~ Cooking Broccoli or Cauliflower in a Rice Steamer ~ by clicking into Categories 4, 14, 15 or 20. In the short time it takes these two veggies to steam, the sauce is prepared!
"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti
(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2015)