The Seafood Stir-In For Summery Mashed Potatoes

Freshly picked herbs or a splash of citrus are one way to add fresh and seasonal flair to mashed potatoes. But what if we told you that there's a more impressive way to impart a summery vibrance to your recipe? Look no further than the catch of the day to discover how you can make a velvety mash taste even more luxurious, all while being refreshingly vibrant.

Although seafood may be available year-round, the sweet spot for many crustaceans is the summer as they migrate towards toastier shores. Given their abundance during these sweltering months, meat is often worked into fresher preparations like cold crab salads and creamy lobster rolls. That said, there's also an opportunity to highlight the crustaceans' freshness in more creative ways. For example, to offset the richness of buttery mashed potatoes, fold in chunks of sweet lobster meat. Alternatively, lump crab meat (namely, milder King crab) can also be a stellar, cost-effective option.

Regardless of whether you opt for tender pieces of lobster or crab, it's best to work with the freshest possible crustaceans, which often means those that are still alive. As long as you buy from a trusted fishmonger or seafood market with a high turnover, you should be in good hands. Just remember to always opt for smaller crustaceans that are alert and moving, as these will be the tastiest. From there, you can start to think about how exactly to construct the dish.

Crafting the best lobster-laden mashed potatoes

Since the process to make a summery lobster mash requires a few steps, multitasking is a must. Start by dropping crustaceans into a pot and cooking until tender. After carefully extracting the meat, reserve the empty shells — those will come in handy later. Now, you can think about cooking your potatoes. While you can use a combination of starchy and waxy spuds, the versatile Yukon has just enough starch and moisture content to produce a creamy yet sturdy mash that will entice the palate. However, rather than add chunked potatoes to salted water, we're fans of boiling spuds with leftover lobster shells for extra flavor.

As you wait for potatoes to cook, it's wise to start sautéing lobster meat in butter with aromatics like garlic, shallots, and spices. Only once potatoes have been cooked and mashed, can you finally fold in pieces of the browned and seasoned crustacean. Reserving a few golden pieces to top the mash, the dish can then be garnished with chopped chives or the zest of a lemon and served.

Given its extravagance, this fresh and fancy mashed potato recipe fares well as an entrée but can also make for a scrumptious side dish alongside a buttery lobster tail. Of course, with a meal so regal, you might even want to pair the mash with something equally lavish like a glass of bubbly. All that's left to do is dig in!