Recipe Spotlight: Ahi Tuna with Mango Salsa Sizzles with Summer

Finally, it’s grilling season. Ahi tuna, also called yellowfin, is a great fish for the grill because it’s firm, moist and takes very little time to cook – meaning you can get back to enjoying summer.

When choosing Ahi tuna, one of our great Responsible Choice species, look for firm flesh and a bright red color with little to no blood line.

I like this recipe because it is a versatile dish that can be used as an appetizer or it can be paired with a couple of summery side dishes to make a complete meal. It is a great choice whether your goal is to impress your guests with a bright flavor sensation or take care of a weeknight meal in short order.

The mango salsa can be prepared ahead of time and the tuna takes only 4 minutes on the grill, so you won’t be spending a lot of time cooking while your guests wait, which can be a hassle.

This is a great light dish that will leave your guests feeling full and satisfied, without adding a lot of calories.


Grilled Ahi Tuna with Mango Salsa

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, deseeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 (5 oz each) ahi tuna fillets
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • salad or grilled asparagus, for serving

All you do:

  1. In a medium-size bowl, combine the mango, red onion, red pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated. Refrigerate for 1 hour to bring out the flavors.
  2. Preheat the grill. Season tuna with lemon pepper and grill on high heat for 90 seconds to 2 minutes per side for a rare to medium-rare steak. Set aside.
  3. Top each steak with a generous portion of mango salsa. Serve with a side of fresh salad or grilled asparagus for a complete meal.

Recipe Spotlight: Love Oysters Rockefeller? Chef Andrew Has You Covered

Authored by Chef Andrew Kintigh and John Rohrs

John here:
Hy-Vee customers who love oysters can feel confident when they come from the fisheries of U.S. Gulf of Mexico states. This is an extremely well-managed area, and because they’re often eaten raw, the beds are constantly monitored to make sure they’re safe to harvest and consume.

Hurricanes and other disasters can cause a loss of habitat, but right now, there’s a consistent supply due to seasonal limits and fishing gear restrictions. The fisheries use tongs or small dredges to eliminate bycatch and to reduce effects on the ocean floor that could harm other species.

All of Hy-Vee’s Gulf oysters are Responsible Choice, part of our commitment to environmental stewardship to ensure healthy oceans and an abundant supply of seafood for generations to come.

Andrew here:
Below are a couple of my favorite recipes for Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice oysters from the Gulf of Mexico:

Oysters Rockefeller

All you need:

Mignonette Sauce

  • 3/4 cup champagne vinegar
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 2 tbsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp chopped chervil
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced

Oysters

  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup bread crumbs, panko preferred
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 1/4 cup Pernod
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • dash red pepper sauce
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 dozen oysters, on the half shell
  • rock salt
  • lemon wedges, for garnish

All you do:

  1. Sauce: In a small bowl whisk together all ingredients. Cover and chill 1 hour before serving with oysters.
  2. Melt butter in a skillet. Sauté the garlic for 2 minutes to infuse the butter.
  3. Place the bread crumbs in a mixing bowl and add half the garlic butter; set aside. To the remaining garlic butter in the skillet, add shallots and spinach. Cook for 3 minutes until the spinach wilts. Deglaze the pan with Pernod; season with salt and pepper. Add a dash of red pepper sauce. Allow the mixture to cook down for a few minutes.
  4. Finish off the bread crumbs by mixing in olive oil, Parmesan and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  6. Spoon 1 heaping teaspoon of the spinach mixture on each oyster followed by a spoonful of the bread crumb mixture. Sprinkle a baking pan amply with rock salt. Arrange the oysters in the salt to steady them. Bake in a preheated 450-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes until golden. Serve with lemon wedges and Mignonette Sauce.

 

Charbroiled Oysters on the Half Shell

All you need:

  • 8 oz softened butter
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • pinch dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 dozen large, freshly shucked oysters on the half shell
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses, mixed
  • 1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

All you do:

  1. Heat a gas or charcoal grill. In a medium bowl, mix butter with garlic, pepper, salt and oregano.
  2. Place oysters on the half shell right over the hottest part of grill. Spoon enough of the seasoned butter over the oysters so that some of it will overflow into the fire and flame up a bit.
  3. The oysters are ready when they puff up and get curly on the sides, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle the grated Parmesan and Romano cheeses and parsley on top. Serve the oysters on the shells immediately with baguette bread.

Recipe Spotlight: Salmon and Halibut Make Holiday Meals Extra Special

Ham and lamb often get the nod when people are thinking about what to put on the Easter holiday table, but Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice salmon and halibut offer some serious competition. Either will stand up well as a main dish.

I’ve selected two recipes that offer a unique presentation and will look beautiful on your holiday table and will leave your guests raving about the meal. Guests will remember these two dishes, whereas the ham they had last year may not be all that memorable.

They’re a nice choice going into spring when people want to get away from some of the heavier foods of winter. They’re both flavorful, but light.

Both dishes also present well. Shingle the fish on a nice white platter and garnish with colorful citrus and you’ll have a presentation that will be very aesthetically pleasing to your guests.


Poached Salmon with Pineapple Cucumber Raita

All you need:

Salmon

  • 1 1/2 quarts vegetable stock
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large carrot, sliced
  • 9 sprigs parsley
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 pounds center-cut salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces

Pineapple Cucumber Raita

  • 1 English cucumber, seeded and grated
  • 3/4 cup small diced fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. In a large deep poaching pan, combine the vegetable stock, wine, vinegar, onion, carrot, parsley, thyme, peppercorns, bay leaves and 2 1/4 teaspoons  salt. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the cucumber, pineapple, yogurt, garlic, mint and cilantro; season to taste with salt and pepper and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Add the salmon to the liquid in the pan and bring back to a simmer. Simmer, partially covered, until the fish is just barely done (it should still be translucent in the center), about 4 minutes for a 1-inch-thick fillet. Remove the pan from the heat and let the fish sit in the liquid for 2 minutes. Transfer to plates and, if you like, remove the skin. Serve the salmon warm, topped with the raita.

Halibut with Chimichurri

All you need:

Chimichurri

  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Halibut

  • 4 halibut steaks
  • olive oil for brushing
  • sea salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. In a food processor, place garlic, cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes; pulse until herbs are coarsely ground. Add lemon zest and red wine vinegar; slowly drizzle in olive oil to create an emulsion. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  2. Heat an outdoor gas grill, or prepare coals for a charcoal grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush the cooking grates clean and oil the grill rack. Brush steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill halibut over direct heat 10 minutes, turning once, or until just opaque but still moist in the center.
  3. Spoon chimichurri over grilled halibut and serve with steamed rice or quinoa.

Recipe Spotlight: Thinking Globally While Eating Locally: Feel Good About This Cod Stew

John here:
Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood initiative responds to a growing interest among eaters in knowing where their food comes from, as well as our commitment to healthy oceans to ensure a bountiful supply of seafood for generations to come.

When they choose seafood from Alaska, consumers can feel 100 percent confident about the fish. It’s written into the state’s Constitution that the fishing industry, Alaska’s largest private-sector employer, use sustainable practices to ensure a plentiful supply of fish and healthy oceans for many years to come.

The fisheries live and die by that principle. Some of the best fish to come out of Alaska is Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice cod. It’s a mild white fish that many people are familiar with, most of the fish sandwiches out there are cod, and one that Hy-Vee frequently features in the seafood case.


Andrew Kintigh here:
The spring and summer growing season is just around the corner, meaning more locally produced vegetables will be available in the produce section at local Hy-Vee stores.

Some examples: We’ll soon be featuring Foxx tomatoes grown in Grimes, as well as organic produce and vegetables grown right here in Iowa. We also have relationships with Deardorff corn out of Adel, Grady’s tomatoes from Carroll and Mariposa Farms herbs from Grinnell, among others.

Different stores carry different local foods, so be sure to check your produce aisle to find what’s being grown near your back yard.

This Moroccan Cod Stew is a good, versatile recipe you can make their own by adding almost any kind of locally grown vegetable – peppers, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, English cucumbers, summer squash, zucchini and green beans are some good choices.

The broth is very forgiving, and it’s also light. You may not think about stew as a summer recipe, but especially when locally grown produce is added, it just screams spring and summer.

If you’re adding to the recipe, you may have to throw in some extra vegetable stock, depending on how thick of a stew you want. Also, be sure to think about cooking times. Throw in the root vegetables in the beginning and the fresher vegetables at the end so they’ll be crisp and retain their taste.

Pair this with a nice salad with local greens and tomatoes, and you’ve got a meal you can feel good about eating.


Moroccan Cod Stew with Chickpeas

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, cut in small dice (choose locally sourced leeks if possible)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp brown sugar
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 (14.5 oz each) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 1/4 pounds Alaska cod fillet, cubed
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups rough chopped kale greens (choose locally sourced kale if possible)
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

All you do:

  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook until softened. Add garlic, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper; sauté for 1 minute.
  2. Add brown sugar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring the soup to a simmer. Add cod and chickpeas and simmer until all are tender, 4 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the kale greens to the pot and cook for 1 minute or until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and top with toasted almonds.

Recipe Spotlight: Pineapple Makes Responsible Choice Swai Tacos Approachable – Even For Those Who Think They Don’t Like Fish

Fish tacos are all the rage now. If it’s on a tortilla, you can call it fish tacos, and if you like a lot of different flavors, as I do, this recipe is one you’ll want to try.

Because swai – one of the Responsible Choice options in Hy-Vee’s seafood case – has such a mild flavor, it will take on the flavors whatever it is prepared with.

This recipe uses canned pineapple tidbits in juice, so that helps keep the fish very moist and adds both tanginess and sweetness. The crunch of the cabbage, carrots and onions are like taking a big, fresh bite out of summer.

We’ve prepared these fish tacos in our kitchen on a couple of occasions and served it on flatbread. The pineapple makes it very approachable. Our customers tell us they didn’t realize they would like it so much, especially those who believed they would only like fried fish.

This is a very healthy way to prepare fish. It’s a nice surprise for people who want to have healthy food that still tastes good.


Fish Tacos with Pineapple Slaw

Serves 4.

All you need:

  • 4 swai fillets
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 8 (6-inch) tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cabbage
  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced seeded cucumber
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1/2 cup canned pineapple tidbits, with juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/4 cup Thousand Island dressing
  • 1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a baking sheet with nonstick spray, season swai fillets with lemon pepper. Cook in the oven for 12 to 16 minutes until 145 degrees or until white and flaky. Remove from oven and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile for the pineapple slaw, in a medium bowl add the cabbage, carrots, cucumber, red onion, pineapple tidbits with juice and cilantro; mix until all combined. Set aside.
  3. For the tangy dressing, in a small bowl add the dressing and yogurt; mix until all incorporated. Set aside.
  4. To assemble the taco, shred 1 swai fillet and divide between two tortillas. Add a little over a 1/4 cup of the slaw mixture on each taco shell and drizzle with dressing.

So, You Think Fish and Cheese Aren’t Compatible? That’s Just a Myth!

You may have heard that cheese and fish should never be paired because one is light and the other heavy, and the two shouldn’t meet. That’s an urban myth, and some of these ideas will demonstrate that.

If you’re cooking a dense fish, such as Hy-Vee Responsible Choice tuna, salmon, or mahi mahi, crumble some lemon Stilton over the top as you let is rest after removing it from the grill or oven. Some of the cheese will melt, but the lemon bits will remain, just as if you had grated fresh lemon over it. It’s superb.

Many people like to blacken these fishes. While you’re letting the fish rest, top it with some Maytag Blue cheese crumbles, then serve it with a ramekin of mango chutney.

My personal favorite is Cajun shrimp on a bed of spinach with carrots and shallots. I use raw, peeled and deveined shrimp. Throw it in a pan with some olive oil, toss with Cajun seasonings and cook for about five minutes. When it’s done, sprinkle some extra seasoning over it and top with BelGioioso four-cheese blend of Asiago, Parmesan, Romano and Fontina. The Fontina melts to give it a buttery texture. This is a good source of protein in one meal.

Some of the hard cheeses from Italy also pair well with seafood. Some basic rules of thumb:

Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • If you’re making a pasta Alfredo with seafood, use a four-blend Asiago mix.
  • If you’re making seafood chowder, use Asiago if the base is white. If the base is red, use Parmigiano Reggiano – this is one of the cheeses I never substitute.

Another divine pairing is fresh halibut with goat cheese and herbs. It’s not just a piece of fish or a piece of cheese, but how well they pop together. The cheese is so tangy. You could use a garlic and herb goat cheese, but if you’re using fresh herbs, I’d go with the plain.

Sartori basil and olive oil cheese is a great complement with a mild fish, such as tilapia. Just make a breading using panko, Italian herbs and sun dried tomatoes, then top it with the grated cheese before baking.

My colleague Chris Smith, also a cheese specialist at the Urbandale Hy-Vee store, likes to serve Sartori black pepper cheese with smoked Responsible Choice salmon on an appetizer plate.

Macaroni and cheese is huge and there are a multitude of recipes around. I like to make mine with gorgonzola, a veined Italian blue cheese, and lobster and peas – maybe some carrots to make it more colorful. You can also use shrimp, shredded tilapia or salmon in this recipe.

Shrimp, lobster and oysters (if you can find an option with the Responsible Choice logo) pair well with baked brie, spinach and fresh herbs. Just put them all together in a puff pastry shell. The flavors all work very well together.

In all of these pairings, it’s all about the taste experience. It’s not just about the fish, or the cheese, but how pairing them takes each to a new level.

Recipe Spotlight: Have a Taste of Summer with These Wild Salmon Recipes

In a winter that seems to have gone on and on, here are two recipes featuring Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice frozen wild salmon that will fast forward to the summer months.

One of my favorite recipes is Grilled Salmon with Blueberry and Corn Relish. I like it because it’s colorful – I’m all about color – and because you can get your fruit, vegetables and protein all at the same time.

When cooking, I always make sure everything looks appealing so you don’t have to garnish and it looks artistic without even having to try.

This combination is something you might not think about, but once you’ve tried it, I think you’ll like it. A lot of people pair salmon with mango or a fresh pico, but this is like a blueberry pico de gallo.

Another great recipe as warm weather months approach is grilled wild salmon served on flatbread and garnished with a refreshing cucumber relish. Very much like a salmon gyro, it’s a nice fresh, crunchy and light sandwich for summer.

When we sampled this to customers, we got a nice response. They liked the freshness and because it’s light, it made them think of summer.


Grilled Wild Salmon with Corn and Blueberry Relish

All you need:

  • 2 ears sweet corn
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced finely
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 4 (5 oz each) wild salmon fillets
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. To cook the corn, place in boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes. Cool and cut the kernels from the cob.
  2. To prepare the relish, add the red onion, blueberries and jalapeno to the corn.
  3. In a Mason jar or shaker with lid, shake together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey and cumin. Pour over the relish and stir well.
  4. To grill the salmon, heat grill to high. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon, skin-side-down, with the cover closed, until golden brown and a crust has formed, about 3 to 4 minutes.
  5. Turn the salmon over and continue grilling for 3 to 4 minutes for medium doneness.
  6. Place salmon on a plate and add one-fourth the relish to each filet.

Grilled Wild Salmon Sandwiches with a Cucumber Relish

All you need:

Cucumber Relish

  • 1 English cucumber, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Roma tomato, cut in quarters and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Dill Yogurt Sauce

  • nutritionFacts1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tsp dill weed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Salmon

  • 6 (5 oz each) wild salmon fillets
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 6 pita breads

All you do:

  1. To prepare the cucumber relish, mix together all the ingredients in a bowl until incorporated. Set aside.
  2. To prepare the dill yogurt sauce, combine mayonnaise and Greek yogurt in another bowl. Stir in dill weed, garlic, celery salt and pepper; set aside.
  3. To grill the wild salmon, heat grill to high. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Grill the salmon, skin-side-down, with the cover closed, until golden brown and a crust has formed, about 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the salmon over and continue grilling for 3 to 4 minutes for medium doneness.
  4. To prepare the sandwich, grill the pitas for 30 to 45 seconds on each side. Remove the pitas from the grill. Add about 1 tablespoon of the dill yogurt sauce to half of each pita. Place 1 grilled salmon filet on top of the sauce, and place some of the cucumber relish on top of each one.

Recipe Spotlight: Affordable Doesn’t Mean Boring

Hy-Vee’s seafood cases are filled with Responsible Choice options that can turn family dinner into a culinary adventure. These recipes also work well for families who want to stretch their food budgets. Affordable doesn’t have to be boring. In the recipes below, a zesty sauté jazzes up scallops. The elegant presentation of a roasted red pepper, kalamata olive and arugula salad transforms tilapia. Or consider a classic cloppino that brings several types of fish together in a savory stew.


Creamy Scallop, Tomato & Spinach Sauté

Serves 4 people. All you need:

  • 1 (16 oz) box angel hair pasta
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine, optional
  • 1 (14 oz) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 1 pound frozen bay scallops, thawed

All you do:

  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a rolling boil; add angel hair pasta and boil until cooked, about 5 to 6 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.
  2. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. Add the garlic and shallot; sauté until fragrant. Add white wine and cook until reduced by half. Add petite diced tomatoes, heavy cream, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper; reduce for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and scallops and cook until opaque, 2 to 3 minutes. Toss pasta in pan until sauce coats all ingredients. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Seared Tilapia with Roasted Red Pepper, Kalamata Olive & Arugula Salad

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade*
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 4 tilapia portions
  • olive oil, as needed

All you do:

  1. Stir together the roasted red peppers, shallot, garlic, kalamata olives, basil, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil; season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat; add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season tilapia fillets with salt and black pepper and place in the sauté pan. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
  3. Toss the arugula with the pepper mix and place atop each tilapia fillet; serve immediately.

Classic Cioppino

All you need:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 large shallots, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3/4 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 5 cups fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 1/2 pounds littleneck clams, scrubbed
  • 1 1/2 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • 1 pound assorted firm-fleshed fish fillets such as cod or salmon, cut into 2-inch chunks

All you do:

  1. Heat the oil in a very large pot over medium heat. Add the fennel, onion, shallots and salt and sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and 3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and sauté 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste. Add tomatoes with their juices, wine, fish stock and bay leaf. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until the flavors blend, about 30 minutes.
  3. Add the clams and mussels to the cooking liquid. Cover and cook until the clams and mussels begin to open, about 5 minutes. Add the fish and simmer gently until the fish are just cooked through and the clams are completely open, stirring gently, about 5 minutes longer (discard clams and mussels that do not open). Season the soup, to taste, with more salt and red pepper flakes. Discard the bay leaf.
  4. Ladle the soup into bowls and serve with crusty baguette bread.

Cheers! Choose the Right Wine and Beer to Complement Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Seafood

Whether wine or beer, the beverage paired with Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood is as important to its taste as the spices and sauces used in the preparation of the fish.

Sue Navratil here:
One of my favorite seafood choices is Pacific halibut. It’s easy to prepare and has a delicate, almost sweet taste. There are many wines that go well with halibut and other white fish, but one of the best is an unoaked chardonnay.

These wines have brighter fruit, they’re not heavy and laden with oak and butter, and their fruit shines through for a clean, crisp taste.

Some other good choices:

  • Dry roses have nice acidity and a bit of fruit that will complement that bit of sweetness and delicate taste of the halibut.
  • Dry chenin blanc. When dry chenins are their best, they will have a bit of sweetness of the grape. The wine is still dry, so it leaves the palate nice and clean.
  • Beaujolais. This wine from the Beaujolais region of France has a very light body and is dry and fruity. It has more body than a dry rose and has nice fruit, but not a lot of sugar to get in the way of the flavors of the fish. It’s also a bit more delicate, so it’s nice to pair with delicate fish.

The old adage that only white wine is paired with fish isn’t necessarily true. Many white wines do accompany fish well, but so will red wines with nice acidity, a light to medium body and low tannins.

With Responsible Source-labeled salmon, tuna and some of the meatier fishes, you can get into some red wines for sure. Pinot Noir has wonderful fruit and strong acidity that make it pair well with food in general, but with fish especially well because it doesn’t have all those heavy tannins.

Chardonnays with some nice butter and oak work especially well with salmon because it’s a fairly fatty fish. When you pair them, those buttery textures in the chardonnay and the fat in the salmon are a nice complement.

Go with a California pinot noir for tuna, a dense, meaty fish. Even if it’s only seared and is still a bit rare in the center, it has a meaty texture so it can handle the heavier body and riper fruit in these wines.

Rieslings, which have a drier, clean, crisp and almost citrusy taste, are good to pair with fish prepared with wasabi or spicy Thai seasonings. A taste of sweet, cool Riesling soothes and helps correct that crazy taste sensation you get with wasabi.

Champagne is also great with any fish that’s prepared tartare.

About the Author
I’m Sue Navratil, and I am a certified specialist of wine (CWS), which I earned by passing a rigorous exam through the Society of Wine Educators. There are only seven of us in the Hy-Vee system.

I work in the North Ankeny Boulevard Hy-Vee store. I love my job. Besides getting to work every day with wine, which is my passion, I help customers learn about wine and choose wine for their events, and facilitate their events by pouring wine.

I do a monthly wine club at the store and other occasional special wine events. I also write my own personal wine blog, naviwine.blogspot.com, which features wines that are available in my store.


Brian here:
The idea of pairing is for the dish and the beer to complement each other and make a new experience. Both can be great experiences on their own, but when you pair well, you end up with a truly exceptional dining experience.

The same principles used in wine pairing apply when choosing a beer to serve with fish. The important thing is to find something complementary that will not overpower the delicate nature of the seafood.

A lot of fish is very light, with a bright flavor and often made citrusy with lemon condiments and sauces.

With lighter white fishes, I like to serve crisp wheats. Two good ones are Boulevard Wheat or Goose Island 312 Urban Wheat. Both of these American wheats are crisp and citrusy, so they lend themselves well to seafood. And they will cut through the butter, if you’re topping it with a creamy sauce, and bring out the brightness of the fish.

Pale ales, such as Sierra Nevada Pale Ale or Mirror Pond from Deschutes Brewery, are also good for delicate white fish, like Pacific halibut.

I wouldn’t move too much out of the American wheats or American pale ales. They all have that citrusy note that lends itself well to any of the seafood. If you waiver too much, the beer will be overpowering and wash out the flavor of the fish.

As you move on to heartier fish, you want to step up the depth of beer. Shellfish can handle something maltier, like an IPA. Try to match the strength of the beer with the dish. The main thing is to make sure they work together.

For more traditional pairings, porters (like Central Waters Muddy Puppy Porter) and stouts (old-world Guinness is a good one) have a rich caramel quality that accentuates the creamy aspect of the seafood. Oysters and stouts go great together.

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Seafood Doesn’t Have to Break Your Grocery Budget

When people tell me they’d like to add more seafood to their diets and are looking for some budget-friendly options, I push them toward Pacific cod, tilapia, catfish, mussels and clams.

Responsible Choice swai is another good choice. It’s a product of Vietnam and is very much like catfish. It’s very reasonably priced. Right now, Hy-Vee is selling two one-half pound fillets for $5.

Pacific cod ranges between about $7 and $8 per pound, which is very affordable when you consider a pound will feed four people.

Mussels and littleneck clams run range from about $5 to $6 a pound and can stretch a food budget. Recipes are very basic, using olive oil, garlic and shallots, some fresh Italian herbs and liquid, either white wine or citrus juice. Don’t forget to buy a loaf of crusty baguette bread for $1.99 to sop up that good broth.

Fish tacos are a hot food trend right now, and they don’t use many ingredients, which makes this an affordable meal. The same goes for blackened catfish, which has a lot of spices, but most people have them in their cupboards already, so it’s easy to throw together. This recipe can also be used with swai.


Spicy Tilapia Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

Serves 4.

All you need:

  • 1 pound tilapia fillets
  • Old Bay Blackening Seasoning, as needed
  • 2 cups cabbage slaw mix
  • 1 red pepper, sliced thinly
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 container Hy-Vee peach mango salsa
  • 6 to 10 soft or hard corn or flour tortillas

All you do:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place fish on a prepared sheet pan and season with Old Bay Blackening Season. Bake in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

2. Toss cabbage with red pepper, green onion, rice wine vinegar, sugar and olive oil; season to taste with salt and black pepper.

3. To assemble tacos, place flaked tilapia on tortilla shells. Top with cabbage slaw and peach salsa.


Blackened Catfish with Fresh Lemon

All you need:

  • 2 tbsp Spanish paprika
  • 1 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5 (5 oz each) catfish fillets, skinned
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 to 4 tbsp sweet cream butter, softened
  • 5 fresh lemon wedges

All you do:

1. In a pie plate, combine paprika, cayenne, thyme, oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, nutmeg, salt and pepper.

2. Pat dry the fish and roll in the blackening spice mixture.

3. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil until nearly smoking. Place catfish fillet in pan and cook 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until done. To serve, top each fillet with a little softened butter and fresh lemon wedge.