Seafoodies

 

 

With its Responsible Choice Initiative and fishery improvement projects, Hy-Vee is raising the bar

by Kathleen Mullen-Ley | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

One of the key goals of Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative is to help the seafood industry improve and help those fisheries and farms that are not performing at sustainable levels improve in discrete ways. To promote healthy oceans and ensure a long-term seafood supply, Hy-Vee is continuing to encourage its seafood suppliers to participate in fishery improvement projects (FIPs).

FIPs are an important component of Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy as they provide a direct pathway for Hy-Vee to encourage improvements on the water, be that through strengthening fisheries management policies or by providing incentives for fishers to reduce the environmental impacts of their fishing gear.

What that means to the consumer is that though products from these fisheries may not currently meet the definition of “responsibly sourced” and be eligible for the Responsible Choice label, they still meet Hy-Vee’s 2015 Responsible Sourcing Commitment because they are in a “time-bound improvement process.”

These improvements may range from an internal agreement between FishWise and Hy-Vee about a particular seafood sourcing strategy, particularly for aquaculture, to external, multi-stakeholder efforts to improve a fishery, such as a fishery improvement project. In general, for an improvement project to meet Hy-Vee’s 2015 Commitment it must contain:

  • A time-bound component that establishes a clear objective consistent with the Seafood Procurement Policy
  • A work-plan with measurable indicators
  • A date by which the necessary improvements are to be achieved
  • Fishery improvement projects must meet the Guidelines for Supporting Improvement Projects established by the Conservation Alliance for Seafood Solutions (available here)

The important takeaway for consumers is that Hy-Vee is doing important work on the water, whether encouraging fisheries to use different gear or implement new management plans that will move them toward sustainability.

It’s important to support those fisheries that are already doing a good job, but it’s just as important to work with those that are struggling to improve through FIPs. This is an important way that retailers can drive improvement. Without support from retailers, they don’t have the motivation to improve.

Responsible Choice seafood recipe highlight: Claw into lobster mac-and-cheese three ways

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

The ultimate comfort food, mac-and-cheese has made a comeback over the past decade, showing up everywhere from casual cafes to upscale restaurants.

To sort Hy-Vee’s mac-and-cheese out from the crowd, we’re offering some new twists that combine the down-home staple with the indulgence of Responsible Choice lobster and swanky gourmet cheeses.

If you’re worried about carbohydrate-rich foodstuffs, a healthier-choice recipe is included that uses whole grain pasta, nonfat milk and Greek yogurt, part-skim mozzarella cheese and some organic ingredients.


Five-Cheese Lobster Mac with Tomato Pancetta Jam

All you need:

  • 1 pound elbow macaroni noodles
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 leek (white part only), chopped
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 oz chevre cheese (goat cheese)
  • 4 oz Grand Reserve white cheddar
  • 4 oz Tillamook sharp yellow cheddar
  • 4 oz St. Angel Brie cheese
  • 4 oz Bel Paese cheese
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound cooked Responsible Choice lobster meat, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

All you do:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. In a saucepan, melt butter; add leek and sweat, stirring frequently, not allowing it to brown, for 1 to 2 minutes.

3. Whisk in the flour, ground mustard and garlic powder to create a thick paste. Whisk in milk and cream; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.

4. Once it begins to bubble, immediately remove from heat and add in the goat cheese, cheddars, Brie and Bel Paese, stirring until all the cheese is melted and smooth. Gently fold in lobster meat; season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Place cooked noodles in the pan; pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and starting to brown. Serve mac and cheese with Tomato Pancetta Jam, recipe below.


The Tomato Pancetta Jam

All you need:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 1 3/4 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz diced pancetta, cooked and drained

All you do:

1. In a saucepan, melt butter. Add shallots; sweat for 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, vinegar, sugars, water, salt and pepper.

2. Allow to simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until reduced and syrupy. Once finished, stir in pancetta and allow to cool.


Healthier Choice Lobster Mac-and-Cheese

  • 8 oz whole grain rotini pasta
  • 4 1/2 tbsp organic Kalona butter, divided
  • 2 small leeks, white part only, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1 cup Full Circle organic nonfat milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 8 oz Organic Valley part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Organic Valley raw sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 pound cooked Responsible Choice lobster meat, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 4 cups baby arugula
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • squeeze of fresh lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 3-quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Cook rotini according to package and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 tablespoon butter; add leeks and garlic and sweat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.

3. In the same pan, melt remaining butter; add flour and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in milk and 1/2 cup Greek yogurt until mixture is thick. Remove from heat and add 6 ounces mozzarella, sharp cheddar cheese and remaining 1/4 cup low-fat Greek yogurt; mix well.

4. Add the leeks, pasta and paprika to the sauce and stir to combine. Gently fold in lobster meat; season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish; sprinkle with bread crumbs and remaining 2 ounces mozzarella cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and bread crumbs have browned.

5. In a separate bowl, combine baby arugula, tomatoes, lemon and olive oil; season with salt and pepper.

6. To serve: Serve macaroni and cheese topped with the baby arugula salad.


Lobster Mac & Cheese Carbonara

All you need:

  • Unsalted butter, for the baking dish
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 slices bacon, cut into small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups whole milk, or more if needed, heated until hot
  • 4 large egg yolks, lightly whisked
  • 2 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 cups (8 oz) grated Asiago cheese, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) grated white cheddar, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 oz) grated yellow cheddar, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1 cup (4 oz) grated fontina cheese, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus 1/4 cup for top
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked just under al dente
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1/2 to 3/4 pound cooked Responsible Choice lobster meat, chopped

All you do:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-by-10-by-2-inch baking dish and set aside.

2. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until golden brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Add the garlic to the fat in the pan and cook until light golden brown, 1 minute.

3. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in the hot milk, raise the heat to high and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Whisk in the egg yolks until incorporated and let cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat and whisk in the thyme, cayenne and all the different cheeses (but not the topping amounts) until completely melted. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture appears too thick, add additional warm milk, 1/4 cup at a time.

5. Put the cooked macaroni in a large bowl. Add the cheese sauce, reserved bacon and parsley. Gently fold in lobster meat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Combine an additional 1/4 cup each of Asiago, cheddars, fontina and Parmesan in a bowl, and sprinkle evenly over the top. Bake until the dish is heated through and the top is a light golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Pacific seafood is safe to eat, radiation fears three years after Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan are overblown

by Kathleen Mullen-Ley | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

Consumer fears, many of them passed along virally on the internet, that fish from the Pacific Ocean contain unhealthy amounts of radiation are still persistent more than three years after a tsunami swamped the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

Those concerns are overblown.

FishWise is continuing to follow the status of the radioactive plume of seawater from the power plant and its potential to contaminate Pacific seafood. Based on the best scientific information available, consuming Pacific seafood is still safe.

Among the agencies and groups testing the seafood are the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which routinely tests for radionuclides – or radioactive contaminants – and monitors information and data from foreign governments and international organizations. In March 2014, the FDA released this update on its website:

“To date, FDA has no evidence that radionuclides from the Fukushima incident are present in the U.S. food supply at levels that would pose a public health concern. This is true for both FDA-regulated food products imported from Japan and U.S. domestic food products, including seafood caught off the coast of the United States. Consequently, FDA is not advising consumers to alter their consumption of specific foods imported from Japan or domestically produced foods, including seafood. …”

The FDA is continuing its monitoring, as is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which measures levels of radiation in the air and precipitation through its RadNet program.

Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Massachusetts are leading a volunteer radiation-monitoring project, called Our Radioactive Ocean, which said in a June 2014 statement:

“So far, none of the seawater samples taken from the Pacific Coast have contained any trace of radiation from Fukushima. They have contained the same levels of radiation that were evident in the Pacific Ocean before the Fukushima accident.”

A number of peer-reviewed studies also support our confidence that seafood from the Pacific is safe to eat.

Researchers involved in Kelp Watch 2014, a project that includes testing for radionuclide contamination of kelp forest ecosystems at multiple locations along the West coast are also confident that the radiation concentration found in kelp samples that will bioaccumulate in the food web that humans are part of will be so low as to pose no harm to human health.

Since the April 2011 disaster, a radioactive plume of contaminated seawater has been carried toward the West Coast of North America by ocean currents, but the Pacific is such a vast body of water that rapid dilution of the radioactive seawater means the concentration of radionuclides from Fukushima is expected to be only slightly above pre-accident levels, and far below naturally occurring radioactive elements in the ocean from environmental factors such as sunlight and weathering of rocks.

The takeaway from these and other findings for consumers of Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood is that Pacific seafood is safe to eat. The risks of Fukushima-derived radiation are miniscule when compared to other things that threaten public health – for example smoking, air pollution and obesity, to name a few.

This vigilant testing has had a benefit beyond providing consumers with the assurances about the safety of seafood: It’s allowed scientists to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the migratory patterns of tuna.

Read more on the FishWise blog.

For lighter summer fare, try salads and ceviches with Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

During the summer months, salads and ceviches are often the main dish. By including Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood with the lighter fare, you can be assured that you and your family are getting healthy proteins and Omega-3 fatty acids.

The recipes below include one for ceviche (pronounced “seh-VEE-chay”), a Latin American favorite made with raw fish and seafood marinated in citrus juice, primarily lime and lemon juices. Before you wrinkle your nose and purse your lips, keep this in mind: The acid in the citrus juice coagulates the proteins in the fish, effectively cooking the seafood.


Responsible Choice Tuna and Avocado Ceviche

All you need:

  • 3/4 pound Responsible Choice ahi tuna
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1/4 red pepper, cut in small dice
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut in small dice
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp sriracha hot chili sauce, or to taste
  • 1 avocado, cubed*
  • 1 to 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • Tortilla chips, for serving

All you do:

1. Dice the tuna into small cubes and place into a glass bowl. Squeeze the limes over the tuna. Add the red pepper, onion, a small amount of salt and black pepper and sriracha. Cover and let marinate for about 1 hour in the refrigerator.

2. Just before serving, add the avocado and cilantro, and adjust the salt and pepper if necessary. Serve with tortilla chips.

3.  Chef’s tip: To serve, save the avocado shells and fill with the ceviche.


Grilled Responsible Choice Ahi Tuna Chopped Salad

All you need:

  • 1 pound Responsible Choice sesame crusted tuna, from the Hy-Vee seafood case
  • 2 (12 oz each) bags Dole chopped Asian blend salad
  • 1 small red pepper, diced small
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños, minced
  • 1 small bunch scallions, sliced thinly on a bias
  • 2 mangoes, cut in medium dice
  • 1 (12 oz) bottle Walden Farms sesame ginger vinaigrette

All you do:

1. Using an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan, grill tuna 2 to 3 minutes per side, not cooked all the way through, as it is best served rare to medium-rare. Remove and keep warm.

2. In a large bowl, add the chopped Asian Blend, diced red pepper, jalapeños, green onions and mango. Toss with the vinaigrette, just enough to coat the vegetables.

3. Carefully break the tuna up and fold into the slaw. Serve as a side or as a main course.


Seafood Salad with Strawberry and Watermelon Vinaigrette

Courtesy of Chef Jess (makes about 2 1/2 cups)

All you need

Dressing:

  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound watermelon (to equal 1 cup pureed)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 pound fresh strawberries (to equal 1 cup pureed)
  • 2 tbsp red or white wine or balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey, more or less depending on the sweetness of the fruit
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Salad:

  • About 16 ounces Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood (salmon, raw shrimp or crab)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Grapeseed oil or a little olive oil and butter, for sautéing
  • About 8 cups mixed greens
  • 1/2 pound fresh strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 pound fresh watermelon, rind removed, cubed or cut into small triangles
  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 small red onion, cut into slivers
  • About 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

All you do:

1. To make the vinaigrette: In a blender or food processor, add the strawberries and watermelon. (You will need about 1/4 to 1/2 pound of each fruit to equal 2 cups puree.) Strain the mixture.

2. To the same blender, add the vinegar, honey, lime juice, cilantro, mint and the 2 cups fruit puree. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil. Start with a little oil, and add more if needed. Taste to see if more honey is needed. Season with salt and pepper.

3. For the seafood: Season with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Add oil to a hot pan; omit if using crab. If using salmon, cook for about 4 to 5 minutes on each side. For shrimp, cook just until they turn pink, about 3 to 4 minutes. If using crab meat, don’t cook; just add to the salad before serving.

4. To serve: Place mixed greens on platter or plate. In a decorative fashion, arrange strawberries, watermelon, cucumber, red onion and seafood. Drizzle vinaigrette over the top; add the feta.

Only 6 months old, Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood initiative is already a success story

by John Rohrs | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

Six months into Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood program – our pledge to responsibly source all fresh and Hy-Vee brand seafood by the end of 2015 – we’re ahead of where we thought we would be.

We’re not the only ones who think so. Greenpeace USA ranked us No. 5 among the country’s top 26 retailers for our efforts in its Carting Away the Oceans: 2014 Rankings of Seafood Sustainability in U.S. Supermarkets report. That’s quite an accomplishment, and it’s the people who work at Hy-Vee and Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI) who give me the confidence to say that at this time next year, we will have made good on our pledge.

Some reasons:

Behind-the-scenes work building on already solid relationships with our partners for two years made for a smooth roll-out of the initiative earlier this year. We made sure our vendors were on board and all of our suppliers were on the same page as far as understanding what kind of product we need to meet the goals of our Seafood Procurement Policy.

One big surprise was how willing our vendors were to change with us. We’ve never had a procurement policy as strict as this one, but we found that suppliers are looking ahead at their futures as well. They are as interested as we are in doing the right thing to protect the oceans and the marine life that depend on them for survival.

Another surprise was that we only had to drop a few suppliers. We were afraid going into this initiative that we might have to abandon some long-standing relationships, but that wasn’t the case.

The few we did have to drop because their products just couldn’t be purchased under our Policy – a last resort – were very low-volume suppliers of specialty items.

One of the benefits of this program is that issues that were only whispered about are now front of mind among our employees and customers. It was an “out of sight, out of mind” type thing.”

We’ve heard about the issues affecting the world’s oceans, but may not have taken the risks all that seriously. As a result of this initiative, we’ve all become more aware of what is going on and we truly understand the issues fisheries deal with and how they’re engaged in doing the right thing.

There are still some challenges with some species, and educating the public about farm-raised salmon is one of the biggest ones. It’s a hot topic among consumers, and what they primarily hear is negative.

They’re not aware of all the good the farm-raised salmon industry has done to protect wild species. Salmon is one of the most sought-after seafood species in the world, and wild stocks can’t begin to cover the demand.

It’s a matter of increasing consumer awareness.

Implementing a holistic Responsible Seafood Program isn’t something you flip a switch on overnight. But overall, we’ve done a great job and achieved great success in a short time.

Using Responsible Choice Alaska seafood will make you forget what you think you know about salmon burgers

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

Forget what you think you know about wild salmon burgers. That flat-tasting concoction Grandma mixed up with some crushed crackers and eggs, then fried to a hard crust in a pan of, gasp, lard is so old school.

Wild salmon burgers are light years ahead of where they once were.

This recipe has spice, but it’s not considered spicy. Full of flavor, it will please the palates of almost everyone. Top the wild salmon burger with avocado, red onion and tomatoes for a delicious and refreshing dinner.

The key is to start with Responsible Choice wild Alaska salmon, which will be available fresh in the Hy-Vee seafood counter through early fall.

This recipe can be cooked on the grill or in a skillet on the stove. And, guys, you’ll feel like you’re grasping a big thick burger, but it’s better for you, loaded with heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids.

Salmon Burger

All you need:

  • 1 pound skinless Responsible Choice wild Alaska salmon fillets, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 tsp blackened seasoning
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • Buns and toppings, for serving

All you do:

1. In a food processor, pulse salmon, egg, Worcestershire sauce, cilantro, blackened seasoning and bread crumbs until salmon is finely chopped.

2. Form into 4 patties. Heat grill to medium-high heat or place the patties in a hot skillet and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings. Try avocado, tomato and red onion.

Hy-Vee’s commitment to Responsible Choice seafood doesn’t stop at the seafood case; it continues into Market Grille restaurants

by Brooke Barnes | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

When dining out, the source of seafood entrees is always a gamble. Unless it’s specifically noted, there’s no way of knowing if the seafood was raised and caught using responsible methods.

logo1That’s not the case at Hy-Vee’s in-store, sit-down Market Grille restaurants, currently found at eight locations, but on tap at up to 50 stores in our Midwest market over the next three years.

The Responsible Choice initiative – Hy-Vee’s pledge to responsibly source all of its fresh and frozen Hy-Vee brand seafood by the end of 2015 – doesn’t end at the seafood case. The push is consistent throughout the company and the Market Grille restaurants are no exception.

So when diners order any of our entrees containing wild Alaska salmon (grilled and in Caesar salads), seared scallops, Ahi tuna or potato crusted cod, they do so with the confidence of knowing that other sea life wasn’t harmed when the fish was caught.

The menus at our Market Grille restaurants will change every 10 months, but what won’t change is our commitment to Responsible Choice seafood. You can find Responsible Choice items by looking for the circular logo.

If you’re not familiar with the Market Grille concept, they can be found in several of our stores. Hy-Vee also has one stand-alone Market Grille, located in the lovingly restored historic Hotel Charitone in Chariton, Hy-Vee’s longtime home.

The full-service Market Grille restaurants offer customers a sit-down dining experience with a wait staff and alcoholic beverages. In addition to Responsible Choice seafood, the menu includes steaks, half-pound handcrafted burgers, entrée salads, ribs and other smoked meats, pizza and other items prepared in an open kitchen.

For a quick, healthy meal, call your smoker into service for Responsible Choice smoked salmon

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

With everyone on the go this weekend and throughout the summer, smoked salmon is a healthy, quick meal that can be made ahead of time.

The leftovers (if you have any) can be used on top of a salad or made into a dip. At your family’s Fourth of July gathering – or any other time you’re dining al fresco – remember this simple rule: Always keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold. When it comes to smoked salmon, you want to make sure that it is not left out for more than an hour or two at the most, and make sure you keep it hot or cold the entire time.

Some types of wood that can be used for smoking salmon are hickory, mesquite, apple wood or cherry wood. Apple chips soaked in apple cider or even a hard cider would give the salmon the essence of apple flavor. By keeping the rub simple, you are able to taste the flavor of the fish.

At Hy-Vee, we use a rub with brown sugar, Old Bay, salt and pepper. I prefer my salmon lightly smoked and cooked to medium rare, so that it still has moisture left in it. If you set your smoker at 220 degrees and smoke your salmon for about 45 minutes, the end result will be just that: moist and delicious.

You can enjoy your Responsible Choice smoked salmon straight off the smoker. If you’re shopping Responsible Choice, a safe bet is either wild or Alaskan salmon. Some farm-raised salmon is not Responsible Choice. With the addition of a Cherry, Wild Rice and Quinoa Salad, you have a healthy and balanced meal. If you plan on eating your smoked salmon later, it will keep for about a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

One of my family’s favorite ways of enjoying smoked salmon is for breakfast. We toast an everything bagel, spread cream cheese on it, then top with thick slices of red onion, fresh tomatoes and, of course, the smoked salmon.

The following recipe pairs well with a chilled rose or, for those who prefer beer, Sierra Nevada’s Summertime Ale.

Smoked Salmon Log with Sweet and Spicy Pecans

All you need:

  • 2 (8 oz each) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 pound smoked salmon, flaked
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh dill
  • 2 tbsp minced red onion
  • 1 tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup Sweet and Spicy Pecans, recipe follows

All you do:

1. In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Gradually fold in salmon, dill, onion, horseradish and lemon juice.

2. Place some of the mixture on a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap. Form a log about 1 inch thick. Place some pecans on another sheet of waxed paper or plastic wrap; roll the log in the pecans until well coated. Twist the ends to seal. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.


Sweet and Spicy Pecans

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp seasoning salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper, or more if you prefer
  • 2 cups chopped pecans

All you do:

1. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat.

2. Add sugar, seasoning salt, garlic powder, cayenne and pecans; stir until the spices start to give off an aroma, 1 to 2 minutes.

What’s the catch with farm-raised seafood: Responsible Choice farmed seafood is addressing some of the major issues affecting sustainability

by Kathleen Mullen-Ley | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

When we look at the sustainability of farm raised seafood at FishWise – Hy-Vee’s adviser in its Responsible Choice initiative to responsibly source its fresh and frozen Hy-Vee brand fish and seafood by the end of 2015 – we assess five main criteria: data; pollution, habitat impacts, and chemical use; feed; escapes and disease transfer; and the source of the eggs/larvae.

Here’s a closer look at each:

  1. Data – the quality and relevance of available data:
    • Data poor operations are not sustainable. In some places where species are farmed, we don’t have data on the effluent, stocking density, and other sorts of parameters that can affect wild stocks and the health of the ocean.
  2. Pollution, habitat impacts, and chemical use – handling farm wastes to prevent pollution, minimizing damage to surrounding habitats during farm construction, and minimizing the use of chemicals:
    • Pollution from farms comes from discharging wastewater into the surrounding environment. If a farm treats or recirculates its water, the risks of polluting the environment is much lower than for farms that flush their ponds/cages regularly without filtering or treating it.
    • For habitat impacts, we consider what kind of habitat, if any, is damaged during farm construction. For example, farms that are built in ecologically valuable mangrove forests are not considered sustainable.
    • Some farms use chemicals to disinfect ponds, treat the water, prevent or control disease outbreaks, and a variety of other reasons. Farms that use a lot of chemicals can have a negative impact on the surrounding environment and can contribute to diseases becoming resistant. In some very egregious cases, we’ve found farms that use the same antibiotics that would be prescribed for a human ailment, diminishing the efficacy of those antibiotics for their intended purpose.
  3. Feed – Consumption of resources, such as wild fish and other proteins, in feeds for the production of farmed fish:
    • How much wild fish is being used in the feed for farmed fish depends on the species being grown.
    • Carnivorous species like salmon require a high amount of wild fish, while vegetarian fish like catfish and tilapia require little to no wild fish in the feed. Most sustainable of all species in this area are filter feeders like oysters and mussels, which do not require any feed.
    • A species like farmed salmon can take up to three pounds of wild fish to produce one pound of salmon. Ideally, we want a one-to-one ratio or better.
    • The industry has strongly responded to concerns related to fish feed and we’ve seen a lot of improvement in this area.
  4. Escapes and disease transfer – risk of fish escaping from farms and risk of diseases from farmed fish spreading to wild stocks, negatively impacting wild ecosystems:
    • If farmed fish that escape into the wild thrive and become established in an area in which they had not lived prior to the farm, they become known as invasive species. Invasive species can have negative effects on native species by outcompeting them for resources (food, habitat, etc.).
    • Some invasive species can also interbreed with wild populations, reducing the biodiversity of the wild population and making the population more susceptible to diseases and other changes.
    • We’ve seen aquaculture operations responding to this concern with mitigation measures, such as covering pens with nets that prevent fish from escaping over the top of the pen during storm.
  5. Source of eggs/larvae – independence of eggs/larvae (seedstock) from wild fish stocks:
    • Some farming operations remove the eggs/larvae/juveniles from the wild population to grow, reducing the health of the wild stock.
    • For example, Bluefin tuna farmed in the Mediterranean Sea are actually raised from juveniles that are caught in the wild in a practice that is often called “ranching.” This depletes the wild stock since those fish will not have a chance to reproduce in the wild.
  6. The most sustainable type of aquaculture is done in land-based, closed-containment systems that recirculate and clean the water. At FishWise, we’re all about closed-containment aquaculture systems, and the technology is improving to make these systems more affordable.

Grilling Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood: Don’t touch it anymore than necessary and let the grill do the work

by Jessica Dolson | Health | Leave a comment

Grilling is one of the best ways to prepare Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice fish and seafood in the summertime, but it also can be intimidating. Fish is so delicate that a few wrong steps can cause the fish to fall apart

Two of the top tips are to touch the fish no more than necessary – let the direct heat of the grill do the work for you – and to start with a clean surface lightly sprayed with Hy-Vee non-stick cooking spray.

Wild salmon, which is coming into our stores fresh from Alaska for the next couple of months – is great on the grill. So are halibut steaks, swordfish and tuna. Other fish can work well with some extra precaution, and I’ll get to that later.

Plank it:

A popular way to prepare wild salmon is to cook it on cedar planks, which adds nice smokiness and a cedar flavor to the fish. To plank salmon, just soak the plank in water overnight.

Or, if you want to infuse some other flavors, try soaking the planks in smoked porter beer or an oaked chardonnay.

Pouch it:

If you don’t want to take a chance of the fish sticking, cook it en papillote, which literally means cooking “in paper.” If you’re using parchment paper, as the French recommend, use medium high indirect heat. Add a little white wine, some fresh herbs and vegetables –  or citrus fruits like lemon, orange or grapefruit – and you’ve got a meal in a bag.

A foil pouch also works. Just make sure you poke a few holes in the foil to allow the smoke flavor to infuse.

Marinate it in alcohol:

An alcohol marinade can release a new flavor sensation, but be sure not to overdo it. Alcohol is great for tenderizing meat, so don’t overdo it – 30 minutes tops, just long enough to infuse the flavor. If the fish is in the marinade too long, especially if it’s an acidic marinade, the proteins can begin to coagulate and the cooking process can begin.

Some combinations to think about include tequila-lime scallops, bourbon and brown sugar-glazed wild salmon, whiskey and brown sugar-glazed wild salmon, and vodka and wild salmon.

Skin on or off:

This is a matter of preference. If you’re going to remove the skin, start with the presentation side down on the grill, and flip it only one time, after about 4 minutes.

If you’re going to leave the skin on, that’s the presentation side and there’s no need to flip it. Just make sure the skin is crispy and not mushy.

Again, you don’t want to mess with it too much. It will release itself from the grill when it is cooked. Moving it around on the grill tears up the flesh.

Other fish:

Catfish, tilapia and some of the more delicate white fishes generally don’t hold up well during grilling, but you can still enjoy them. Hy-Vee sells stainless steel fish baskets that will hold them together.

Whole rainbow trout also works well. Score the skin on both sides and slip citrus and herbs under the skin to add more flavor. Some of the herbs that work well include thyme, tarragon, fennel, dill, rosemary and oregano.

Don’t ever do this:

One thing you never want to do is re-cook shrimp. You can reheat it briefly – 30 seconds tops –  but any more than that will make it a complete rubbery mess.

A good way to grill raw, deveined shrimp is to skewer, add some lemon and pepper, and grill a couple of minutes on each side. Be sure you use some of the larger shrimp available in our seafood cases. Shrimp is not a Responsible Choice at Hy-Vee yet, but we’re working on it and will have shrimp that meets our environmental standards by year-end 2015.

Don’t overcook it:

One of the common mistakes in grilling fish is to overcook it. Here’s a guide:

Fillets (tilapia and catfish): ½- to ¾-inch thickness, medium heat for 8-10 minutes

Firm steaks (halibut, wild salmon, tuna, swordfish): 1-inch thickness, medium to medium-high heat, 10 minutes

Lobster tails: 8- to 10-ounce, medium heat, 8-10 minutes

Raw shrimp (not a Responsible Choice): 21- to 25-count per pound, medium heat, 4-5 minutes; under 10-count per pound, 6-8 minutes, medium heat

Farmed scallops, clams, mussels: under 12 per pound, medium heat, 4-5 minutes

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