Friday, December 18, 2009

See. Food. New. Burg.

Dear friends,

As some of you know, the cocksuckers over at Knorr have discontinued their Newburg sauce mix, thereby proving the existence of evil forces. Oh sure, I poked around the Internet looking for a replacement but none was to be found.

This situation had me stewing through long nights, thinking: It cannot be. It cannot be. Eventually, however, I threw off the sweaty sheets, swung my legs over the side of the bed and sat upright, blinking back my denial. The convenient Newburg sauce mix was gone and it was not coming back. If I was going to serve Newburg sauce, I was going to have to make Newburg sauce with a pan and separate ingredients.

It took some doing, but I finally found a recipe that doesn't include any candy-ass items that are normally associated with a real Newburg. There's no goddamn shallots, for instance. There's no clarified butter or egg yolks. Everything here is regular Cleveland-style shit you can understand.

* * *

Melt a half stick of butter and mix in about 4 T flour until you've got a paste (Yes--in a sauce pan on the stove. Where the hell else would you do this?) Don't ask me how high the heat should be. I've got an old gas stove and I eyeball the flame, but don't burn this (although it's probably all right if you burn it a little).

Pour in about a cup and a half of milk real slow, stirring the whole time. You probably ought to be using a whisk for this, which is more of an upgrade than I normally like to recommend, but there you go. Bring this just to a boil then turn the heat down. Should thicken up real nice for you.

Add two squarshy shots of ketchup, a shot of Worcestershire, a shake of paprika, some salt and about a shot of sherry. I use the shitty screw-top sherry you buy from the bottom shelf of the booze section at the discount grocer for about five bucks and that you have for your entire life. No, this is not right. Yes, I wish it was different, but there are some things you just can't wash off no matter how hard you scrub. Kiss my ass.

This slop is your sauce. Taste it and add a little more sherry or other stuff if you want. Add more milk if it's too thick, genius.

If the sherry admission and putting ketchup into "Newburg" sauce isn't bad enough, the following disclosure will do me in for good.

No flaked white fish. No shelled crab legs. No fresh anything. I'm not proud of it and I can't deny it, but I use chopped up fake lobster in my Newburg recipe. It's all cooked and everything. There's no trick. You just buy it on sale, freeze it until you're ready to use it, thaw the package in hot water, chop it into flakes, toss it into the cheap sherry ketchup sauce, heat it through and you're done.

I suppose you could have this over noodles or rice, but I use toast. My kid likes to spoon this over a thick slice of homemade bread. She thinks this dish is pure genius and will eat it morning, noon, and night until it is gone.

You go on and judge me if you want, but I know there's a contingent of readers out there who are reading this, eyes shifting to and fro as they try to remember where they put their 10-year-old bottle of $5 sherry.

* * *


(S)wine said...

i mean how in hell can you go wrong with this kind of opening:

"Dear friends,

As some of you know, the cocksuckers over at Knorr have discontinued their Newburg sauce mix..."

that just made my day.

Gillian said...

Cocksuckers indeed!

writer_elh said...

I would go a step further- not even bothering to buy any real sherry, but using the old bottle of cooking sherry I have.
This is my kind of recipe, thanks Erin.

Once Known as The Badger said...

With apologies, but as a former resident of Wyoming, your recipe brought this to mind:

ssued by the Wyoming Tourism Bureau to ALL visiting Californians and>Northeastern Urbanites:
>1) Don't order filet mignon or pasta primavera at Higby's Cafe. It's a diner. They serve breakfast 24 hours a day. Let them cook something they know. If you upset the ladies in the kitchen they'll kick your ass.
>2) Don't laugh at the names of our little towns (DuBois, Chugwater, Meeteetse, Ucross, Encampment, etc.) or we will kick your ass.
>3) Don't order a bottle or a can of soda here. Up here it's called Pop.>Accept it. Doing otherwise can lead to an ass kicking.
>4) We know our heritage. Most of us are more literate than you. We are>also better educated and generally a lot nicer. Don't refer to us as a bunch of hicks or we'll kick your ass.
>5) We have plenty of business sense. You have to to make a living up here. Naturally, we do sometimes have small lapses in judgment from time to time, but we are not dumb enough to let someone move to our state in order to run for the Senate. If someone tried to do that, we would kick their ass.
>6) Don't laugh at our Jackelopes. Anything that inspires tourists to buy 50,000 postcards can't be bad. When you're in Cody don't point at the genitalia on the giant buffalo or we'll kick your ass.
>7) We are fully aware of how cold it gets here in the winter, so shut the hell up. Just spend your money and get the hell out of here or we'll kick your ass.
>8) Don't order the vegetarian special at the local diner. Everyone will instantly know that you're a tourist. Eat your steak rare like God intended and have some potatoes with that, for heaven's sake! Also, don't ask what a hot dish is or we'll kick your ass.
>9) Don't try to fake a western accent. We don't have an accent. Do NOT mention Laramie, as that will incite a riot and you will get your ass kicked.
>10) Don't talk about how much better things are at home because we know better. Many of us have visited big-city hell-holes like Detroit, New York, and LA, and we have the scars to prove it. If you don't like it here, United Airlines is ready when you are. Move your ass on home before it gets kicked.
>11) Yes, we know that ice fishing is "not your thing." We don't care. If you don't understand the beauty of being out on a lake when it's 10 degrees then you should go home and try fishing in New York Harbor. Also, don't hog the heater in the fish house or we'll kick your ass.
>12) Don't complain that most of Wyomimg is flat and that there aren't enough trees. If you whine about OUR scenic beauty we'll kick your ass all the way back to Cleveland.
>13) Don't ridicule our mannerisms. We only speak when spoken to. We hold doors open for others. We offer our seats to old folks because such things are expected of civilized people. Behave yourselves around our sweet,>little grey-haired grandmothers or they will kick some manners into your ass just like they did ours.
>14) So you think we're quaint or losers because most of us live on the>prairie? That's because we have enough sense to not live in filthy, smelly, crime-infested cesspools like New York or LA. Make fun of our fresh air and we'll kick your ass.
>15) Last, but not least, DO NOT DARE to come out here and tell us how the prairie should "go back to the buffalo." This will get your ass shot(right after it is kicked). Just mention this once and you will go home in a pine box. Minus your ass. Enjoy your visit in the Equality State!

Note especially #12. Don't take it personally.

Note: I was born in Erie, Pa., so I've been around the block a time or two and know how it is in Cleveland...

WV - whillsi if this comment takes up a whole page of Internet space.

Glass Houses said...

Erin -

Please consider me for the position of your new best friend.


Stuff like this makes me smile all day long.

LimesNow said...

Faux fish, Erin?

Those cocksuckers!

Anonymous said...

Brilliant. Two squarshy shots of whatever is the kind of recipe I can follow (and how I cook). People are forever asking me for recipes, but Martha Stewart I aint... You need a cooking show. On cable.

Alanna Klapp said...

I agree with Rabbit, a cooking show, and a book.....! =)

Al The Retired Army Guy said...

Shallots are not "candyass" ingredients IMHO. Nor are egg yolks (I mean, you can't have a whole egg without a yolk, right? What's "candyass" about that?).

This being said, it sounds like Erin has made a more than acceptable stand-in for her beloved Knorr Newburg packet. Made from scratch, and her daughter loves it. Doesn't get any better than that if you ask me.

Now, on the frozen seafood ... ;-)


Ms Amanda said...

Okay not touching this gnarly recipe with a ten foot pole! However, LOVED the post. You got style lady. Now off to have two squarshy slarps of vodka.

dean said...

Add enough butter to anything and it'll taste good.

I make a living optimizing things, a little here, a little there, and I'd suggest to you, O'Brien, that you invest in a bottle of Marsala in place of that $5 bottle of wino crank. It's not terribly expensive, I think I pay $18 for a bottle that lasts a long time, but the difference it makes is amazing.

As for the fake lobster - eh. Swap out the drifter fuel for decent sherry and that sauce would make goddam near anything taste good.

Amy L. Hanna said...

What The Dean said about marsala cooking wine. If it's not too beneath your culinary caliber, a bottle of the Cribari brand can be had at your favorite grocer/beverage outlet for around $5 - 6.00, same with the madeira and sherry option.

Save the vino for the palette instead.

Just me.... said...

Great post... even if it left a quiet, gentle urge to hurl...

wv torsts.. as in I almost heaved my morning torsts reading that recipe.

Anonymous said...

I know exactly where that $5 bottle of sherry think it's....

April said...

You have such a way with words! Really I very much enjoy reading your blog.