The Lake Whitefish is an excellent example of one of our regional natural resources here in the Great Lakes. They love cool, deep water (200 feet & deeper). The Great Lakes Whitefish takes exceptionally well to hot smoking and various preparations can be found throughout Michigan.
The Lake Whitefish belongs to a family of fish called salmonidae which includes trout, salmon, char and graylings.
The Lake Whitefish is one of the species rated as “LC” or a species having the “Least Concern” or lowest risk of being threatened or endangered according to the IUCN Red List. Lake Whitefish is rated as “Best Choice” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Guide to safe and sustainable fish when trap-netted.
While most market whitefish are between 2 - 8 lbs., the Michigan State angling record for Lake Whitefish is a whopping 14.28 lbs., taken out of Lake Superior in 1993.
Almost as many recipes as there are cooks can be found just in Michigan alone for various dips and spreads using smoked whitefish. Below is one of my recipes for the popular “Michigan Patè”, or smoked whitefish dip, now available at O’Tooles Bistro & Pub, Cass Lake.
Smoked Great Lakes Whitefish, 1#
Cream Cheese, softened to room temp, 3/4#
Horseradish, 1 tbl
Lemon Juice, 1 tbl
Roasted Garlic, 2 cloves, smashed
Scallions, minced, 1 tbl
Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped, 1 tbl
Capers, chopped, 1 tbl
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients well, serve with crackers.
At Home On The Range in O'Tooles Kitchen