Seafood Newburg Recipe (Scallops, Shrimp, and Cod in a Sherry Cream Sauce) – A Romantic Dinner for Two

By 7 m read
Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Seafood Newburg (also spelled Newberg and Newburgh) recipes have been around since the year Rutherford B. Hayes was elected president (who?). So what is Seafood Newburg? According to Wikipedia, the first Newburg dish ever served was in New York City’s Delmonico’s restaurant in 1876, called Lobster Newburg. 

 

Since then, many variations have popped up. From adding it to a puff pastry or a casserole, with or without egg, cheese, etc. Techniques and ingredients have changed over time. 

 

But regardless of authenticity and ingredients, the one thing all these variations have in common: it’s rich, it’s decadent, it’s delicious, it’s romantic, and it’s easy to make. 

 

My take on this classic is to stay flexible with the type of seafood and simplify the sauce without compromising taste. 

 

Go ahead, impress the person you love with an unforgettable dish this Valentine’s Day. Or any other time of the year, of course. 

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Ingredients

Seafood – That’s the cool part. You can use a combination of fish, shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab, etc. There are just a few things to consider when cooking them: start with the type of seafood that takes the longest to cook. What if you have some pre-cooked shrimp in the freezer? No problem, cook your other seafood first, as described in this recipe, and then add the pre-cooked shrimp when you put the other cooked seafood in the bowl with lemon juice. When the sauce is done, add all the cooked seafood back into the pan to reheat it and serve immediately. When you buy fish, look for firm, white fish fillets. I like halibut and cod the best. 

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Sauce – I use 2% milk (our everyday milk) and half & half (my regular coffee creamer). You could use whole milk and light cream or heavy cream. If the roux (the technical term for a sauce made with butter and flour) is too runny, add a little more flour. If it’s too thick, add a bit more milk. But cook it first for a couple minutes before deciding. It will thicken up. When it comes to butter, I use salted butter (our everyday butter). This is why it’s important to taste your food while cooking. When using salted butter, you might not even need any additional “salt to taste.” 

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Cooking should be joyful and simple. A recipe should work correctly as it has been written. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have any flexibility. The more you cook, the more you’ll learn that you can be creative. Your experience and dedication to tasting while cooking will tell you exactly what to do if your pantry item is slightly different from the pantry item described in the recipe. 

 

Side Dish: When it comes to a rich, decant dish like Seafood Newburg, it has to be egg noodles. But that’s just me. Serve it with any side dish you like. Or none at all. Just serve it in a large soup bowl with some French baguette or freshly baked garlic bread. 

 

How to make Seafood Newburg

Before we start cooking, let’s make sure we have all the ingredients measured and ready. It takes away the pressure of looking for a measuring cup or ingredient while cooking fish on the stove….

 

Pat dry and cut the fish in about one-inch pieces.  Bay scallops are the perfect size, but if you’re using sea scallops, quarter them. Put all the seafood in a bowl and season with 1/3 tsp kosher salt and 1/3 tsp freshly cracked pepper. 

 

Heat 1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add shrimp, fish, and scallops, and cook for about 6 minutes total, stirring occasionally. Make sure the pan is large enough that the seafood isn’t crowded. If they touch each other, they’ll steam. Cook in batches if necessary. When done cooking, remove from heat, put in a bowl, and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over it (about 1 Tbsp).

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Note: It’s okay if the fish starts to fall apart while stirring the seafood. That’s actually a good thing. Once we remove the cooked seafood from the pan, all the little bits and pieces left behind will incorporate themselves into the sauce to give it that little extra that you won’t achieve if you cook the seafood in a separate pan.

 

In the same pan, heat 2 Tbsp butter until the butter bubbles but doesn’t smoke. Add 2 Tbsp minced shallots, 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg (optional). 

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Erich Boenzli)
(Photo by Erich Boenzli)

Stir a couple of times while cooking for about about 2 minutes (until shallots turn translucent). 

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Add 2 Tbsp flour and quickly whisk everything together (this step takes maybe 10 seconds).

 

Add 1 c milk and 1/2 c half & half and whisk until it reaches desired consistency. It’ll take about 2 minutes for the flour and liquids to fully interact. Therefore, give it a little time before adjusting the desired thickness (by adding more milk or flour). Taste. Add kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Taste. Add 2 Tbsp dry sherry and whisk everything for 30 seconds or so. Taste again. Is that good or what? 

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Tasting while cooking is the holy grail of achieving a great result. It’s especially important when creating a rich yet subtly flavored sauce like this one. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out the right amount of salt to add. A wonderful trick I learned from the book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat by Samin Nosrat, works like magic:

 

Put a little bit of sauce on a spoon and taste it. Then again, put a little bit of sauce on the spoon. But this time, add a tiny sprinkle of salt. Is it tastier this time? No? Serve. Yes? Add some salt to the pan and try again. Repeat as necessary. From now on, your soups, stews, and sauces will always be perfectly salted. Thank you, Samin!

 

Get your (ideally pre-warmed) plates ready (sometimes I stick them in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes to heat them. Or rinse them under hot water then dry them off). Put the cooked seafood back into the cream sauce and stir for a couple of minutes. 

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Sprinkle some roughly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley on top and serve over pasta, or with some French baguette or garlic bread.

Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)
(Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Love delicious seafood dinners? Check out a few more of our recipes now:

 

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Seafood Newburg (Photo by Viana Boenzli)

Seafood Newburg Recipe (Scallops, Shrimp, and Cod in a Sherry Cream Sauce)

Seafood Newburg is a delicious, romantic dish. My take on a classic is to be flexible with the type of seafood and simplify the sauce without compromising taste.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Servings 2

Ingredients
  

  • 1-1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb cod (or any firm white fish), cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/3 lb medium shrimp (about 12), peeled and cleaned
  • 1/4 lb sea scallops (about 4), quartered
  • 1/3 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/3 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp minced shallots
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 c milk
  • 1/2 c half & half
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp dry sherry
  • Bunch of flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • Your favorite side dish

Instructions
 

  • Put all the seafood in a bowl and season with 1/3 tsp kosher salt and 1/3 tsp freshly cracked pepper. 
  • Heat 1-1/2 Tbsp olive oil in a non-stick pan over medium heat. 
  • Add shrimp, fish, and scallops, and cook for about 6 minutes total, stirring occasionally. Make sure the pan is large enough that the seafood isn’t crowded. If they touch each other, they’ll steam. Cook in batches if necessary. 
  • When done cooking, remove from heat, put in a bowl, and squeeze some fresh lemon juice over it (about 1 Tbsp).
  • In the same pan, heat 2 Tbsp butter until the butter bubbles but doesn’t smoke. 
  • Add 2 Tbsp minced shallots, 1 tsp paprika, 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg (optional). 
  • Stir a couple of times while cooking for about about 2 minutes (until shallots turn translucent). 
  • Add 2 Tbsp flour and quickly whisk everything together (this step takes maybe 10 seconds).
  • Add 1 c milk and 1/2 c half & half and whisk until it reaches desired consistency. It’ll take about 2 minutes for the flour and liquids to fully interact. Therefore, give it a little time before adjusting the desired thickness (by adding more milk or flour).
  • Taste. Add kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Taste. Add 2 Tbsp dry sherry and whisk everything for 30 seconds or so. Taste again. 
  • Get your (ideally pre-warmed) plates ready.
  • Put the cooked seafood back into the cream sauce and stir for a couple of minutes. 
  • Sprinkle some roughly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley on top and serve over pasta, or with some French baguette or garlic bread.

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6 Comments
  • Meghan
    February 12, 2021

    5 stars
    This sounds absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try!!

  • Jennifer
    February 12, 2021

    5 stars
    I needed a new seafood recipe and this is exactly what I needed. Thank you!

  • Nina
    February 13, 2021

    Looks so good! I love seafood but I don’t really make it myself. I’ll have to try this 🙂

    • maplewoodroad
      February 15, 2021

      Thanks! It’s really easy, so we hope you do try it and enjoy! 🙂