Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Alaska Crab, Blood Orange & Farro Salad

With all the New Year’s resolutions being made to eat healthier in 2015, I wanted to share an idea for a healthy crab salad using farro and blood oranges. Farro is a pearled wheat product loaded with fiber and protein. It cooks like rice, but the texture is a bit chewier. Farro takes on flavors well, which makes it a nice variation to add to your diet. Using Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Alaska crab in this recipe makes you feel good about eating healthy and supporting healthy oceans.


Responsible Choice Alaska Crab, Blood Orange & Farro Salad

Serves 4 (1-1/2 cups each).

All you need:

For the vinaigrette:

Responsible Choice Alaska Crab, Blood Orange & Farro Salad

  • 1/2 cup blood orange juice (juiced from blood oranges used in salad)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp minced fennel fronds
  • 1 tsbp stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • 1/4 cup Hy-Vee extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 cup Hy-Vee farro, cooked and cooled
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • 1/4 bulb fennel, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • 1/2 diced red pepper
  • 1/4 cup minced parsley
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked Responsible Choice Crab legs, picked from shell (6 to 8 legs)
  • 3 blood oranges, segments removed and set aside (save the pulp for the juice)
  • Mixed greens, for serving

All you do:

To make the vinaigrette:

  1. In a small bowl, add the orange juice, lime juice, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, fennel fronds, mustard and honey. Whisk in the olive oil to combine.

For the salad:

  1. In a larger bowl, add the farro, avocado, fennel, red onions, red pepper and parsley.
  2. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the farro and vegetables. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add in the crab meat and orange segments. Gently mix to combine.
  4. Place a bed of mixed greens on each of four plates; top each with a mound of the salad mixture.

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Alaska Crab Provencal

When celebrating winter holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve, Responsible Choice Alaska crab legs are the perfect addition to your parties. Enjoy this delicious recipe with family or friends and they’ll be sure to thank the chef. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!


Responsible Choice Alaska Crab Provencal

Serves 4

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 4 cloves garlic, slivered
  • 1 tbsp minced shallot
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh marjoram
  • 1 tbsp chopped additional herbs such as lemon thyme, parsley, rosemary or lavender
  • 1 (750ml) bottle Brut champagne
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 to 4 pounds Responsible Choice Alaska crab legs, thawed or frozen
  • 1 small loaf warmed crusty French bread, sliced

All you do:

  1. Melt butter in small saucepan over medium-low heat. Stir in garlic and shallot; cook 3 to 4 minutes, until garlic is soft. Stir in thyme, marjoram and additional herbs; cook 2 minutes. Open champagne; pour 1/2 cup champagne into butter; stopper champagne. Bring sauce mixture to simmer; cook an additional 3 to 5 minutes, until sauce is reduced slightly. Add 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste. Keep sauce warm.
  2. If frozen, rinse Alaska crab legs under cold running water to remove any ice glaze; pat dry with paper towels. Discard towels. Steam or boil crab in large pot, 8 to 10 minutes for frozen crab or 3 to 4 minutes for fresh/thawed crab, until heated through.
  3. Serve crab with dipping sauce, warm bread and chilled champagne.

Recipe Spotlight: Versatile Alaska Crab is Good in Light Summer-Time Fare & Hearty Fall Boils

During the transition from summer to fall, what to eat can be as confusing as what to wear. Jacket or short sleeve shirt? Hearty soup or lighter fare?

Here are two recipes using Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Alaska crab to get you through the in-between season. One is light and fresh; the other is a hearty boil that uses of end-of-harvest sweet corn, potatoes and onions.


Alaskan Crab Lettuce Wraps

Makes 8 lettuce wraps.

All you need:

Dressing:

  • 1 tbsp diced shallot
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 lime
  • 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Salad:

  • 1 pound cooked crab meat, diced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1 mango, peeled and small diced
  • 2 stalks celery, small diced
  • 1/4 cup small diced red bell pepper
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 8 Bibb lettuce leaves from 1 head

All you do:

  1. Whisk shallot, lemon juice, lime juice, olive oil and cilantro together in a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Combine crab meat, avocado, mango, celery, red bell pepper and green onions in another bowl.
  3. Pour just enough dressing over the salad ingredients to lightly coat. Toss gently.
  4. Place 2 tablespoons salad onto each lettuce leaf and roll in wraps. Serve immediately.

Louisiana Style Shrimp and Crab Boil

Serves 6 to 8.

All you need:

  • 4 gallons water
  • 2 heads garlic, unpeeled
  • 5 fresh bay leaves
  • 9 oz Zatarain’s dry crab boil
  • 2 tbsp Zatarain’s liquid shrimp and crab boil
  • 2 (12 oz each) bottles Baraboo Pale Ale
  • 2 large oranges, halved
  • 3 large lemons, halved
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, washed
  • 1 1/2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes, washed
  • 1 pound Andouille sausage, sliced on the bias every 2 inches
  • 15 (3-inch) sections fresh sweet corn
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 pounds crawfish, thawed
  • 1 pound Jonah crab claws, thawed
  • 1 pound Alaska king crab claws, thawed
  • 2 pounds Gulf shrimp, thawed
  • Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
  • Lemon wedges and cocktail sauce, for serving

All you do:

  1. Heat in a 10-gallon stockpot over high heat.
  2. Add garlic, bay leaves, dry crab boil, liquid crab boil, beer, oranges and lemons. Cover and bring to a boil.
  3. Add potatoes; cover and boil 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat about 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Add sausage, sweet corn and onions to stockpot; cover and boil for 5 minutes.
  5. Add crawfish, crab claws and shrimp; boil for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer all ingredients to an oversize platter or large baking sheet and serve with lemon wedges and cocktail sauce, if desired.

Key Takeaway from Seafood Expo in Boston: Sustainability is Expected, No Longer a Hot, In-Your-Face Topic

One of the greatest opportunities at the Seafood Expo North America (formerly the Boston Seafood Show) was found in the chance to talk face-to-face with the approximately 19,000 suppliers, processors and other professionals from around the world who attend this event.

Establishing that rapport makes the follow-up conversations much easier and more congenial.

For me, the key takeaway from the event in Boston is that sustainability isn’t the in-your-face, hot topic that it used to be. Everyone may not quite meet the same high standards that Hy-Vee and PDI have set with the Responsible Choice initiative, but everyone takes for granted that companies care about sustainability and are doing something about it. This is driven some by consumer demand, but primarily it’s due to competition for business between companies.

It was great to meet those domestic suppliers, the folks with boats on the water and processing plants, who are working directly with PDI and Hy-Vee to provide Alaskan King crab, wild salmon, because promotions around those species have been successful at bringing customers’ attention to Responsible Choice seafood.

At FishWise, we work with some of the better-acting companies and they are doing a great deal to advance conservation. These seafood suppliers from Alaska, who are leading the world in setting the standards for sustainability, appreciate that Hy-Vee is very direct about what its environmental standards are what companies need to provide for them.

They love that Hy-Vee does so much to draw attention to the way they do things. They know Hy-Vee appreciates quality. It’s kind of a mutual admiration society, which is rare.

At the expo, I also met with leaders of the Global Aquaculture Alliance, a certifying organization like the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) and Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC), to connect them with Hy-Vee and other distributors and help them better understand where the other is coming from. It’s a tough topic, because so many people are under the impression that farmed fish is not sustainable in any way, and we need to work to overcome that stereotype. The folks at GAA are very open to dialogue, and that will help to move it along.

Another prominent event during the Seafood Show was a panel discussion focused on improvement projects that companies like Hy-Vee and its vendors are supporting, like wild gulf shrimp. The shrimping industry can be dirty and have a lot of issues, yet customers want shrimp. Hy-Vee is doing the right thing by supporting practices that reduce turtle bycatch. The vendor Hy-Vee works with is making sure there’s a smaller amount of turtle bycatch in its fisheries.

Responsible Choice Seafood from Alaska, a World Model for Sustainability, Sells Itself

All of our Responsible Choice products meet high standards and Hy-Vee’s commitment to bring customers the freshest, best-quality fish and seafood available today, but seafood from Alaska is in a league of its own.

Throw the name “Alaska” in front of a species of fish and it sells itself and stands for a high quality that is unmatched. Customers feel confident purchasing fish they know is from Alaska, whether it’s Alaskan king crab, salmon, Pacific halibut or black cod.

Customers know where it comes from – some of the cleanest, purest waters anywhere – and they know it’s not only safe to eat, but has superior flavor and texture as well. The flavor is a result of the fish feeding on a natural diet of marine organisms and the texture comes from their annual migrations in the cold waters of the North Pacific.

Alaska’s seafood industry, the state’s largest private-sector employer, is a world model of seafood sustainability and fisheries management – and has been for 50 years. Continuing that livelihood – and a healthy supply of fish and healthy oceans for generations to come – is so important that the Alaska Constitution mandates that fish are “utilized, developed and maintained on the sustained yield principle.”

The quota system is well managed and the fisheries live and die by it. Once their quota is met, they’re done. As a result of these practices, no species of Alaska seafood has ever been red-listed under the Endangered Species Act.

The Pacific halibut and black cod (sablefish) harvest season just opened, and limits have been set at 16.8 million pounds before the season ends in November. Alaska has more than 95 percent of the Pacific halibut and catches are closely monitored. In the last few years, they’ve cut back on the amount of halibut to ensure the availability of this favorite – the largest of the flatfish, known for its mild flavor and firm texture.

Salmon is one of the most popular seafoods in the world. People live for it. King salmon is in season year-round, but the seasons for sockeye, coho, keta and pink salmon generally run May-September. The fisheries take great care to manage the populations during spawning season, allowing significant numbers to escape so they can make it up river to spawn.

As a result of these time-tested management practices, the fisheries have been able to make abundant salmon harvests for more than three decades.

When Hy-Vee launched its Responsible Choice initiative – our pledge that by the end of 2015, all of our high-quality fresh and Hy-Vee brand frozen seafood will be responsibly caught – it was no big deal for the three vendors we work with in Alaska.

Alaska knows they are doing it right. They get it.

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.