A special starter for a dinner party, fun hors d’oeuvre, or a comfort food supper. (And there is a delicious vegan option as well!)
First of all, any dish that has mashed potatoes as a prime ingredient is going to be on my favorites list. This has both mashed potatoes and local crab meat, which puts it very high on my list of great foods.
It stuck in our minds
Many years ago, when we lived in the mountains of our beautiful state and got channels on our satellite dish from near and far away, my husband and I watched a program on Canadian television. I’ve long since forgotten its name, was all about leisurely living on the lake, any lake I guess, and food was an integral part of the show. They created an appetizer of mashed potatoes and lobster, served in beautiful stemmed glasses.
Many options from sea and land
We fell in love with the idea, and a few summers later, we rented a lake house ourselves, and on a lark, I fiddled with the dish. We joked that Lake House Lobster was born. We thought it would be delicious, and we were right. Something about the humble potato combined with the luxurious lobster hit all the right notes, and certainly stretched one little lobster a long way!
I’ve since made the recipe with lobster, shrimp, crabmeat, and it is equally as delicious with jackfruit as a substitute for the seafood. I guess it really is all about the potato when all is said and done!
Local is always best
I’ve used Maine crabmeat here, but source your own local crab meat if you live on a coast, and always look for United States sources if you do not.
You can use left-over mashed potatoes for this, or make them fresh. Keep the mash on the medium side, not too stiff or too creamy.
Enter, the artichokes!
My most recent twist was to serve the potato-seafood concoction on top of artichoke bottoms! It’s delicious, another texture and flavor added to the mix that work beautifully together.
This will make 14 bountiful artichoke bottoms to share at the party, or six starter servings in lovely Margarita or other fancy glasses.
Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled, the latter being the easiest for a party, large or small!
Lake House Crab Stuffed Artichoke Bottoms
- 2 cans artichoke bottoms, about 14
- 8 oz. Maine or other US crabmeat
- 1 tbsp. each olive oil and butter
- 1 large shallot, finely minced
- 1 Serrano pepper, finely minced
- 3 tbsp. dry sherry or white wine
- 1 ½ cup mashed potatoes
- 1 tbsp. minced chives
- 2 or 3 tbsp. Hellman’s (or your favorite) mayonnaise
- Salt and pepper, of course!
Drain the artichoke bottoms, trim any rough edges, and to help them sit without wobbling. Set aside.
Pick through the crabmeat for shells, and set aside.
In a large saucepan, sauté the shallot and pepper in the olive oil and butter. When soft, deglaze the pan with the sherry and let it cook off to dry.
Add the crabmeat, and stir well to combine, then place in a large bowl and fold in the potatoes, chives, and ample seasoning. This dish likes a lot of pepper, so taste. If you want more heat, add a little hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne.
Mound the stuffing on the artichoke bottoms and garnish with more pepper and a few very thin slices of red pepper.
For a dinner party starter:
This recipe makes a lovely starter for a dinner party. Line your stemmed cocktail glasses with lettuce of choice and simply mound the potato-seafood mixture on top! It’s about as easy as it gets.
Decorate any way you like. A few slivers of pepper on top, or a shrimp or claw of lobster if that is what you are using. A few herbs perhaps.
You can substitute jackfruit, ounce for ounce, for the crab in this dish. Vegan butter and vegan mayonnaise round it out. The taste and texture is pretty darn close to the crab, so everyone can be happy.
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