Hy-Vee’s Commitment to Responsible Choice Seafood doesn’t Stop at the Seafood Case; It Continues into Market Grille Restaurants

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.

Grilling Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Seafood: Let the Grill Do the Work

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 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 the end of 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): 1/2- to 3/4-inch thickness, medium heat for 8 to 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 to 10 minutes

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

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

Looking for Sockeye Salmon and Other Low-Mercury Fish? Look to Hy-Vee’s Low Mercury Card for Help

Authored by John Rohrs & Chef Adam Finnegan John here: Doctors advise pregnant women and others wanting to adopt a heart-healthy diet to eat more fish, but mercury content can be a concern. Hy-Vee works with its suppliers to provide several species that not only are responsibly caught, but contain very little mercury. The FDA doesn’t require mercury-content labels, but at Hy-Vee, we want to make sure that information is at consumers’ fingertips. Just look for the Responsible Choice seafood options on our Low Mercury Card, available at the seafood counter. Low mercury, responsibly harvested options include:

  • Catfish* (farmed in the USA)
  • Clams (farmed in the USA and wild)
  • Dungeness crab* (wild)
  • Mussels* (farmed)
  • Oysters* (farmed and wild)
  • Coho salmon* (wild USA and Canada)
  • King salmon* (wild USA and Canada)
  • Sockeye salmon* (wild USA and Canada)
  • Scallops (farmed and wild)
  • Trout* (farmed in the USA)

(*These species contain the daily minimum of Omega-3 fatty acids per 3.5 oz serving)


Adam here: One of the best options right now is sockeye salmon, which arrives fresh in the Hy-Vee stores during the summer season. This is very high-quality fish. Hy-Vee’s supplier owns the rights to a portion of the Copper River where sockeye salmon is harvested, so this is fish you can’t get anywhere else. It’s inspected and certified as wild-caught, hormone- and antibiotic-free, and it arrives packed in ice, every single day. It’s never frozen. With all that going for it, there’s no need to mess with it by adding heavy sauces and seasonings. Just add some salt, pepper and olive oil and keep it simple. Sockeye salmon is a firm fish that is best grilled. I prefer to grill it with the skin on or on a cedar plank, then I top it with a tropical salsa that has bright flavors.


Here is a salsa recipe that is a big hit with our customers. Combine all of the following ingredients and chill until you’re ready to serve it.

  • 3/4 cup diced mango
  • 3/4 cup diced grilled pineapple
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and diced fine
  • 2 tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making your own salsa, we’ve been doing them in-house and offer eight different salsas in our fresh cases. Our customers love the concept of topping their fish with our fresh salsas and our dietitians love it too.

Recipe Spotlight: Fire Up the Grill for Copper River Salmon or Scallops

Nothing pairs with the grill like Responsible Choice seafood. Not only does it meet Hy-Vee’s high standards for freshness, but it’s also fish you can feel good about eating. With the Responsible Choice label comes the confidence in knowing the fishery or farm uses sustainable catch methods.

Hy-Vee stores are featuring Copper River salmon now and will continue to feature some of the best of the catch through fall. With its thick skin, it’s perfect for the grill.

Both of the recipes below include vegetables. For other side dishes, check out some of the selections in the Hy-Vee salad bars, garlic bread from the bakery that can be warmed on the grill or any of the twice-baked potatoes, stuffed mushrooms or peppers in the full-service meat case.


Grilled Scallops with Fresh Avocado, Tomato & Corn Salsa

All you need:

Salsa

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, fresh or frozen
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • dash hot sauce or cayenne pepper
  • salt and black pepper, to taste

Scallops

  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 pounds scallops, patted dry

All you do:

  1. In a bowl, for salsa, combine avocado, tomato, corn, cilantro, red onion, lime juice and hot sauce;  season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Prepare grill for medium-high heat grilling. Combine cumin, cayenne, paprika and salt. Season scallops with spice mixture. Use oil to oil the grill well. Grill scallops 2 to3 minutes per side or until nicely charred and just cooked through.
  3. Serve scallops with salsa on top.

Grilled Copper River Salmon with Grilled Vegetables

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) salmon fillets, with skin
  • olive oil, for grill
  • 1 zucchini or yellow squash, halved lengthwise
  • 1 red pepper, quartered
  • 1 red onion, quartered with root still intact
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Hy-Vee Fish & Seafood Grinder Seasoning, as needed
  • olive oil, as needed
  • squeeze of fresh lemon

All you do:

  1. Prepare grill for medium heat cooking.
  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. Clean the grill grates well and rub with oil; place the seasoned salmon fillet skin-side-down on the grill and close lid.
  4. Allow salmon to cook for 5 to 6 minutes or until it flakes in the center (do not flip salmon.)
  5. While salmon is cooking, toss zucchini, red pepper and onion with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season well with the grinder seasoning. Place vegetables on the grill and cook until crisp-tender. To remove salmon from the grill, slide a spatula between the skin and the flesh and remove.
  6. Top the fish and vegetables with a squeeze of fresh lemon 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.