I grew up in Cincinnati but we spent our Christmas’ in Connecticut visiting my Nanna and our extended family. It was always our yearly trek back East for the holiday festivities and good times with the cousins. We always had so much fun goofing around and Nanna’s house was the best place to do it. She had a huge yard and the woods near her house were a great place to let all the cousins loose! Boy did we burn off a lot of energy! I was talking with Mom and Dad the other night and we were reminiscing about our Christmas Eve dinners. The big crowd, the “kid’s” table, the cookies for Santa, the bells that were rung to get us to go to bed and the ever un-popular Seafood Newburg that Nanna would make. We laugh about this because, God rest Nanna’s soul, she could not cook, like not even a little bit. The sweet lady tried so very hard but we would all just push our food around the plate but each year she continued to make Seafood Newburg. Her version was Campbell’s cream of shrimp condensed soup, a cup of milk, a cup of sherry and those pathetic “cocktail” shrimp. It was so bad but we loved her anyway! It was her tradition and in the end that’s all that matters. We still talk about her cooking with loving memories. This year we will be having a nice crowd of people in Evergreen and we decided to make the traditional Seafood Newburg for Christmas Eve dinner, um, not Nanna’s version though. I made up my own version of this classic, decadent dish and it turned out delicious. It’s a good thing that this holiday only comes around once a year. You may find yourself licking your plate clean! I can’t wait to share this with all our friends at our Colorado table!
We had a crazy weather week here. Of course the weatherman got it wrong again. The storm that was supposed to be 2-4 inches of snow turned into 13 inches at my house! We got so much snow that we actually broke a record that goes all the way back to 1897! What a mess. Basically, Denver shut down on Wednesday this week. It ended up being a good thing though. I had a perfect excuse to finish up making my annual black lave sea salt caramels that I give to friends and clients. This year, 1200 caramels, hand wrapped and packaged. It’s a labor of love but Christmas wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t do it! It certainly gets me in the spirit of the season!
I still can’t believe that 2015 is coming to a close but for now. Merry Christmas, happy holidays and wishing you all a very happy and healthy season and of course a big dose of JOY!
- 4 tbs butter
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped small
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp paprika
- Pinch Cheyenne pepper
- 2 tbs flour
- 2 cups half and half
- 1/2 cup cream sherry
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1 1/2 pounds assorted seafood (shrimp, scallops, lobster, crab)
- Puff pastry sheets
- Chopped chives for garnish
- Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the thawed puff pasty into six squares. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Set aside.
- In a large saute pan melt the butter and add the shallots. Cook for about five minutes until the shallots become soft. Add the salt, pepper, paprika and Cheyenne. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the shallots and cook for another two minutes.
- Whisk in the half and half, sherry and brandy. Stir until it thickens.
- Add the seafood and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the seafood is done.
- Cut the puff pastry shells in half and serve with the Seafood Newburg. Top with chopped chives.