Certified, Individually-Selected and Fresh: Hy-Vee offers a Responsible Choice for Lobster

One of our most popular crustaceans, lobster has always been a hot, international commodity. And as trends in the Midwest turn to increased seafood consumption, 15 to 17 pounds per capita per year, at Hy-Vee, we believe it is our responsibility to provide the same quality and traceability for seafood as we do for all other commodities.

To honor this promise, Hy-Vee began our Responsible Choice seafood initiative. From there, steps to ensure traceability and sustainability fell into place for lobster when we began our partnership with Mazzetta Company to procure Tristan rock lobster.

Why Tristan rock lobster over other lobster fisheries? Located 1,500 miles to the southwest of Cape Town, South Africa, Tristan da Cuhna is known as the most isolated inhabited group of island on Earth. Fewer residents and businesses mean less pollution ends up in the ocean around the islands. In addition, the lobster fishery has longstanding credibility in the world of seafood. Established in 1948, the Tristan rock lobster fishery has been a champion for the environment and implemented numerous practices to ensure responsible fishing, quality control and sustainability.

In June 2011, the Tristan lobster fishery attained certification from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) demonstrating the fishery is managed in a way that does not lead to overfishing, maintains the health and productivity of the wider marine ecosystem, and has an effective management system in place.

The entire certification process is complex, public and rigorous, including seven detailed steps. In fact, Tristan rock lobster is one of only eight fisheries in the world certified by MSC for lobster sales and distribution. From an assessment and stakeholder meetings to client and public review, certification is an admirable achievement and helps us rest assured that sustainability and traceability are priorities throughout the entire supply chain – from the catch to your plate.

In addition to the shore-based facilities, the Tristan rock lobster fishery harvests from neighboring islands of Gough, Nightingale and Inaccessible with a factory freezer vessel, utilizing a long line multi-trap method. All systems operate under a traceability system to track MSC certified seafood through processing as whole cooked frozen, whole raw frozen, whole raw frozen sashimi, raw frozen tails or raw frozen heads.

The final product is then transshipped to Cape Town prior to shipment to the USA.

In addition to the MSC approved practices, Tristan rock lobster has a quality taste, reflecting the care and standards utilized throughout the process. Carefully selected, quickly frozen and individually wrapped, Tristan lobster offers the same benefits available in most seafood – high in amino acids, potassium and magnesium, vitamins, calcium, iron and zinc.

Hy-Vee is proud to partner with an upstanding fishery that places the same value on food safety, traceability and environmental consciousness. Through the Responsible Choice seafood initiative, we are constantly looking for ways to improve our transparency and hold not only ourselves, but also our suppliers, accountable for the quality of product we offer.

Recipe Spotlight: Claw into Lobster Mac-and-Cheese Three Ways

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.
  5. 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.

Recipe Spotlight: Surf and Turf with Responsible Choice Seafood and Angus Reserve Beef

A meal that pairs Responsible Choice seafood and Hy-Vee’s Angus Reserve Beef offers both satisfying taste and the confidence of knowing that the seafood is responsibly harvested and the beef is 100 percent natural and comes from Midwest-raised, grain-fed cattle.

Surf and turf is a favorite American cuisine. Angus Reserve Beef is naturally aged, so it’s also naturally tender. I like the contrast of somewhat sweet scallops with the char of the grill.

A word of caution: Don’t overcook the scallops or they will become rubbery. A minute to a minute and a half on each side is sufficient. Before cooking, be sure to pat them dry to remove excess moisture; otherwise, they will steam rather than sear.

The Angus Reserve Beef offers is priced at three tiers to meet different budgets: Prime Reserve, Choice Reserve and Angus Reserve.

Following are some surf and turf recipes to consider:

Crabmeat-Stuffed Lobster Tail

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tbsp lemon zest
  • 4 (8 oz. each) lobster tails, thawed
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 4 tbsp salted butter
  • 5 tbsp minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup crushed round butter crackers
  • 1 1/2 cups jumbo lump crabmeat, picked over for shells and cartilage
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest
  • 5 tbsp dry sherry
  • 2 tsp olive oil

All you do:

  1. To make lemon butter: combine 1/2 cup melted butter, lemon juice and lemon zest. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Split lobster tails in half. Remove tail meat, then replace in shells. Place lobster on baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then brush with melted lemon butter. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes.
  3. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan or sauté pan. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Do not brown. Fold in crushed crackers, crabmeat, salt, white pepper, lemon zest, sherry and olive oil.
  4. Remove lobster tails from the oven after 5 to 6 minutes. Brush again with melted lemon butter, then pack stuffing tightly on top. Bake for 12-1/2 to 13 minutes, until lobster meat reaches 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Brush one final time with melted lemon butter before serving.

Grilled Filet with Herb Butter

All you need:

  • 1 tbsp whipped or regular butter, slightly softened
  • 3 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh chives
  • 3 tsp minced fresh oregano, divided
  • 1 tsp freshly grated lemon zest, divided
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound filet mignon, about 1 1/2 inches thick, trimmed and cut into 4 portions

All you do:

  1. Preheat grill to high.
  2. Mash butter in a small bowl with the back of a spoon until soft and creamy. Stir in 2 teaspoons oil until combined. Add chives, 1 teaspoon oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and place in the freezer.
  3. Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon oil, 2 teaspoons oregano, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, rosemary, minced garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub on both sides of steak. Grill the steak 3 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Spread the herb butter on top of the steaks and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Grilled Sea Scallops with Lemon

All you need:

  • 3 scallops per person
  • extra virgin olive oil, as needed
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • herbed sea salt, as needed
  • cracked black pepper, as needed

All you do:

  1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat cooking and make sure the grates are clean.
  2. Toss scallops with olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper, just enough to coat. Place on grill for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per side or just until cooked through.