Hold the bib when you serve this elegant shellfish dish

There’s no better way to enjoy lobster’s pure flavor than to have it boiled and shelled. It’s true, though, that the bib your server ties around your neck when you order boiled lobster has a purpose: Eating the creature is a messy operation.

When dinner isn’t suited to rolled-up sleeves, I go for Newburg, a shellfish classic. The delicate sauce enhances, without overwhelming, the sweet freshness that makes lobster so appealing. You cook and shell the animals in private, hours ahead ― and save the brilliant red hulls for a dramatic presentation. You can even start the sauce in advance. My only break with tradition is to whip the cream; I add part to the sauce and reserve a cool dollop to spoon on last. The pale cloud melts smoothly into every bite.

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