Recipe Spotlight: Pacific Cod Takes on the Flavor of Vegetables when Cooked in Parchment Bag

Cooking cod, a mild, white fish that takes on the flavor of the vegetables and the sauces it’s cooked with, in parchment paper is a foolproof way to keep it moist.

If fish is cooked this way, it’s easy to avoid some of the common misgivings people have when cooking fish – that it’s going to be raw or undercooked, or that it’s going to be too dry.

Here’s an easy way to determine if fish is correctly cooked: When you press your palm, it gives some. Fish should do the same, and give just a bit when pressed. Remember, when fish come out of the oven, it will continue to cook for a couple of minutes.

A basic rule of thumb is to bake fish about 10 to 12 minutes per inch of thickness in a 425-degree oven.

Pacific cod is one of the Responsible Choice selections in the Hy-Vee seafood case. It’s from a well-managed fishery that has limits in place to ensure fish will be around for future generations to eat and enjoy.

The recipe below departs from the standard lemon and dill sauce that people can tire of, using dry white wine, fresh thyme and lemon zest. Here’s another bonus: Clean-up is super easy.

Some other variations include blood orange, which are in season right now and are very good with fish. I also like to add some fresh fennel for variety.


Cod En Papillote with Fresh Vegetables

All you need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plus 3 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 (5 oz each) cod fillets
  • 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 parchment bag

All you do:

  1. Mash garlic and salt to a paste. Melt butter and 1 tablespoon oil in nonstick pan over medium heat. Add garlic paste and shallot; stir until pale golden, about 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice, wine, zest and black pepper. Remove from heat.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of oil inside the bag. Place cod fillets in the bag and spoon generous tablespoons of garlic-lemon sauce over fish; season with about 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Cover with asparagus, roasted red peppers and shredded carrot. Roll the parchment bag up, enclosing completely and seal with a paperclip.
  3. Bake fish until just opaque in center and vegetables are crisp-tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately by ripping open the parchment bag, allowing steam to escape.

Recipe Spotlight: Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon Will Change Your Mind About Farm-Raised Fish

Farm-raised cold-water fish like salmon can get a bad rap. Conventional wisdom is that it can have a different taste than wild salmon, but advances in aquaculture are closing the gap.

One of the best options in the Hy-Vee seafood case is Mt. Cook Alpine salmon, which is disrupting expectations about farm-raised salmon in a big way. This fish is raised in a canal fed by glacier runoff from New Zealand’s Southern Alps. There’s no human interaction in these clean, fast-flowing waters, no runoff from human activities and the water is so pure that you can drink it both before and after the fish leave.

The fish in these waters are disease-free; never get antibiotics, hormones or other chemicals; and are killed in a humane way that minimizes unnecessary stress and pain, a method that ensures better flesh quality.

Mt. Cook salmon is also incredibly healthy. The Omega-3 fatty acids in this fish are comparable with wild-caught salmon, and have three times the amount of Omega 3 oils as Atlantic salmon and in comparison, has very low intramuscular fat.

This flavor of this fish is so clean that I hate to mask it with heavy sauces. Just make a light crust of seasonings, sear the fish and finish it off in the oven. Try this:


Seared Mt. Cook Alpine Salmon with Garlic Spinach

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 (5 oz each) Mt. Cook salmon fillets, skinned
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp shallot, minced
  • 1 to 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • squeeze of fresh lemon

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine brown sugar, salt, black pepper, cumin, dry mustard and cinnamon in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture on the top side (non-skin) of the salmon fillets.
  3. Heat an oven-proof sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sear fillets, rub-side down, until fish is browned, about 2 minutes. Flip fillets and place pan in oven; finish cooking for 5 to 6 minutes or until fish flakes easily.
  4. While fish is in oven, heat another sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add butter, shallots and garlic. Sauté until garlic is fragrant and add spinach; sauté until slightly wilted; season with salt and pepper. Serve spinach with salmon fillet on top; squeeze fresh lemon on fish just before serving.

Recipe Spotlight: Alaska King Crab Legs with Dipping Sauces

I enjoy being part of a company that features fish and shellfish caught in a sustainable way, so it can be enjoyed by people for generations to come.

That’s the case with our Alaska king crab legs, which can be prepared with a variety of dipping sauces. Crab legs are a good choice for entertaining, but also for everyday eating.

Don’t be intimidated. They’re very easy to prepare. All you need is a nice, big stock pot and some kitchen shears. Just bring 2 to 3 inches of water to a rapid simmer, throw the crab legs in and cover. It’s OK if some of the legs are sticking out of the pot.

When they’re done, tear the crab legs at the joint. Flip them to the smoother side and snip them open with the kitchen shears. Break the crab legs into pieces and open them to retrieve the meat.


Alaska King Crab Legs with Dipping SaucesAlaska King Crab Legs with Dipping Sauces

All you need:

3 to 4 pounds of Alaska king crab legs (snow or Dungeness also work), thawed or frozen

All you do:

1. To prepare the crab, fill a 16- to 20-ounce stock pot with water. Bring to a boil and add crab legs. Reduce the heat; cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes for frozen crab or 3 to 4 minutes for thawed crab, until heated through. Drain and serve with the dipping sauces, see recipes below.

Rouille Sauce

All you need:

  • 1/3 cup bottled roasted red peppers
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

All you do:

1. Combine the peppers and garlic in a food processor and process until well minced. Pulse in the remaining ingredients until well combined.

Basil-Mint Pesto Sauce

All you need:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tbsp toasted walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

All you do:

1. Combine basil, mint, oil, walnuts, garlic and lemon juice in a food processor; puree until smooth. Add Parmesan and pulse until well combined. For a creamier sauce, combine 1/4 cup of the Basil-Mint Pesto sauce with 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise.

Mediterranean Dip

All you need:

  • 1 (6.5 oz) jar artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chopped drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 (4 oz) can sliced olives, drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives OR 2 tbsp. sliced green onions

All you do:

1. Blend the artichoke hearts, Parmesan cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and chives in a bowl. Place in ovenproof baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, if desired.

Butter Sauce

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted melted butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill weed
  • dash white pepper

All you do:

1. Blend ingredients together in a bowl.

The dips may be prepared up to two days in advance. Reheat the butter sauce as needed.

Recipe Spotlight: Chef Mike Zoeller’s Crab with Avocado

Dungeness Crab with Avocado

Serves: 6 (1/2 cup each)
Source: adapted from Hy-Vee Seasons Holiday 2011

All you need:

  • 2 avocados
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • Hy-Vee salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional
  • 12 oz lump crab meat
  • 2 green onions

All you do:

  1. Halve avocados. With a paring knife, cut avocado meat into 1/4-inch squares and scoop out into a bowl.
  2. Mix garlic, lemon juice, paprika, salt and black pepper in a small bowl. Toss with crab and avocado.
  3. Garnish with green onions and chill.

Daily nutritional values:
4% vitamin A
20% vitamin C
4% calcium
4% iron
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 170
Carbohydrate: 7g
Cholesterol: 45mg
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Fat: 11g
Protein: 14g
Saturated Fat: 1.5g
Sodium: 220mg
Sugar: 1g
Trans fats: 0g

Recipe Spotlight: Crab Poppers

Crab Poppers

Serves: 16
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Source: Hy-Vee ad from December 8, 2013

All you need:

  • 1 pound lump crab meat
  • 2 cups crushed Ritz crackers, divided
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup Hy-Vee evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Hy-Vee Worcestershire sauce
  • Hy-Vee salt and Hy-Vee black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Hy-Vee skim milk
  • 1 Hy-Vee large egg
  • Hy-Vee vegetable oil

All you do:

  1. In a large bowl, combine crab meat and 1 cup cracker crumbs.
  2. In a large skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add green pepper and onion; sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add to bowl with crab mixture. Stir in evaporated milk, Dijon mustard, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 to 6 hours.
  3. Form crab mixture into 16 (approximately 1-1/2-inch diameter) balls. In a medium bowl, whisk milk and egg together. In a separate medium bowl, place remaining 1 cup cracker crumbs. Roll balls in egg mixture, then coat well with crumbs. Transfer to a rimmed baking sheet.
  4. In a large stock pot, heat 2 inches oil to 350 degrees. Working in batches and turning occasionally, fry crab poppers until golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes per batch. Transfer to paper towels.

Recipe Spotlight: Lemon-Crab Linguine

Lemon-Crab Linguine

Serves: 8
Source: Hy-Vee ad from December 8, 2013

All you need:

  • 1 (16 oz) package Hy-Vee linguine
  • 1 tbsp Hy-Vee Select olive oil
  • 1 pound lump crabmeat
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Hy-Vee shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Hy-Vee salt and Hy-Vee black pepper, to taste
  • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

All you do:

  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add crab and heat through. Stir in wine and bring just to a boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in lemon juice. Add cooked pasta and Parmesan, tossing to coat well. If pasta needs more liquid, stir in reserved pasta water. Season with salt and black pepper. Top with parsley, if desired.

Daily nutritional values:
0% vitamin A
10% vitamin C
6% calcium
10% iron
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 300
Carbohydrate: 44g
Cholesterol: 40mg
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Fat: 4g
Protein: 20g
Saturated Fat: 0.5g
Sodium: 250mg
Sugar: 4g
Trans fats: 0g

Recipe Spotlight: Corn-Crab Cakes with Chipotle Cream

Corn Crab Cakes with Chipotle Cream

Serves: 8 (1 jumbo corn-crab cake or 2 mini corn-crab cakes each)
Source: adapted from Hy-Vee Seasons Summer 2010

All you need:

  • 1 cup Hy-Vee mayonnaise, divided
  • 1/2 cup Hy-Vee sour cream
  • 1 to 2 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Hy-Vee lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp Hy-Vee salt
  • 4 fresh ears of corn or 2 cups Hy-Vee frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
  • 3 tbsp Hy-Vee butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 Hy-Vee large eggs, beaten
  • 1 tbsp stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tsp Hy-Vee Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 1/3 cups Hy-Vee plain bread crumbs, divided
  • 12 oz lump crab meat
  • 1/4 cup cornmeal

All you do:

  1. For chipotle cream, stir together 1/2 cup mayonnaise, sour cream, chipotle peppers, lemon juice and salt in a small bowl. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  2. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cobs. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet. Add corn, onion and bell pepper. Cook about 5 minutes or until onions and peppers are soft. Cool 10 minutes.
  3. Stir together eggs, remaining 1/2 cup mayonnaise, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper in a large bowl. Stir in cooled corn, onion and peppers. Gently fold in 2/3 cup bread crumbs and crab meat. Chill mixture in the freezer for 10 minutes.
  4. To make jumbo corn-crab cakes, using a 1/2-cup measuring cup, shape crab meat mixture into 8 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. To make mini corn-crab cakes, using a 1/4-cup measuring cup, shape crab meat mixture into 16 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Place on baking sheet and chill patties 10 minutes for easier handling.
  5. Stir together remaining 2/3 cup bread crumbs and cornmeal in a 9-inch pie plate. Dip patties into crumb mixture, turning to coat.
  6. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add patties and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 5 minutes per side for jumbo cakes and 3 to 4 minutes for mini cakes. Repeat using remaining tablespoon butter and remaining patties. Serve with chipotle cream.

Daily nutritional values:
8% vitamin A
10% vitamin C
8% calcium
10% iron
Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 450
Carbohydrate: 29g
Cholesterol: 110mg
Dietary Fiber: 2g
Fat: 32g
Protein: 13g
Saturated Fat: 8g
Sodium: 640mg
Sugar: 4g
Trans fats: 0g