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Lake Superior Fish Recipes

Main Entrées

  1. Baked Lake Trout with Shrimp Stuffing; Nelson Thomas (Duluth, MN)
  2. Award Winning Chipotle Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw; Brenda Washnock
  3. Green Curry Lake Herring Fishcakes and Juniper Cole Slaw;
    Lisa Fitzpatrick (Duluth, MN)
  4. Award Winning Lake Superior Bluefin Herring; Ron Bohnert (Danny's Bar & Grill, Stillwater, MN)
  5. Award Winning Roasted Superior Herring Chowder; John Occhiato (Cosmos, Minneapolis, MN)
  6. Award Winning Root Vegetable Hash w/ Lake Herring; Scott Graden (New Scenic Café, MN)
  7. Award Winning Sea Grant Lake Herring; Scott Graden (New Scenic Café, Duluth, MN)
  8. Award Winning Seared Whitefish with Creamy Grits; Seth VanderLaan (Milwaukee, WI)

Hors d'oeuvres

  1. Allspice Herring; Sharon Hawk (Edwardsville, IL)
  2. Award Winning Baked Lake Superior Whitefish Toast Points; Hannah Wolters (Duluth, MN)
  3. Dan's Lake Trout Hors d'oeuvre; June Kallestad (Duluth, MN)
  4. Nueske's Grilled Whitefish; Brian Huberty (Duluth, MN)
  5. Pete's Smoked Fish Spread; Floyd "Pete" Pearson (Grand Marais, MN)
  6. Smoked Lake Herring Appetizers; Marie S. Fegley (Duluth, MN)
  7. Superior Beef Slider; Bruce Reeves (Duluth, MN)
  8. Wildly Wonderful Wild Rice Soup

Award Winning = Award Winning

Main Entrées

1. Baked Lake Trout (Or Whitefish) With Shrimp Stuffing
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Recipe by Nelson Thomas (Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 4-6


  • 1 Lake Trout - 4 lbs. Dressed; or Whitefish
  • 6 - Tbsp. Butter Melted, Divided Salt & Pepper
  • 1/4 cup - Chopped Onion
  • 2 cup - Coarse Dry Bread Crumbs
  • 3/4 lb. - Raw Shrimp, Peeled, Deveined, Chopped
  • 1/2 cup - Raw Spinach, Washed, Drained, Chopped
  • 1 - Beaten Egg
  • 1 Tbsp. - Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • 1/2 tsp. - Poultry Seasoning
  • 1/4 tsp. - Paprika


  1. Brush fish with 4 T. butter, in and out.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper in and out.
  3. Lay fish in shallow baking pan. Set aside.
  4. In saucepan, sauté onions in remaining butter. Transfer to large bowl and add bread crumbs, shrimp, spinach, beaten egg, parsley, salt, poultry seasoning, and paprika; blend.
  5. Add milk or chicken stock or water to get to stick together. Stuff into cavity of fish.
  6. Sew or use wooden sticks or wrap in aluminum foil to cook the fish. Cook extra stuffing in foil.
  7. Bake at 350° about 40 minutes or until flesh is firm to the touch and shrimp are pink.

2. Green Curry Lake Herring Fishcakes and Juniper Cole Slaw
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Recipe by Lisa Fitzpatrick
(School of Fine Arts, UMD, Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 6 or more



  • 1 lb. - "Chelsea Morning Farm Lake Superior Fishcake Batter"
  • 1 1/3 cup - Finely ground breadcrumbs (can also be Japanese panko)
  • 1/4 cup - Green onions, diagonally sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. - Mayonnaise
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. - Green curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp. - Toasted sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp. - Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp. - Asian hot sauce (Sriracha chili sauce)
  • 1/4 tsp. - Kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. - Fresh ginger, grated peeled
  • 1 - Egg
  • 2 Tbsp. - Vegetable oil, divided

Juniper Cole Slaw:

  • 2 cups - Cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup - Carrots, grated
  • 1/3 cup - Sweet onion or green onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. - Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. - Apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. - Maple syrup
  • 6 - Juniper berries, ground into paste

Main Instructions:

  1. Mix fish, breadcrumbs and green onions in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise with green curry paste, toasted seme oil, soy sauce, sriracha chili sauce, kosher salt, fresh ginger, and an egg.
  3. Add mayonnaise mixture to fish mixture; mix lightly until combined.
  4. Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to pan; swirl to coat.
  5. Use large spoon to scoop and shape fishcakes. They will be a little goopy.
  6. Add 6 fishcakes to pan; cook 3 1/2 minutes on each side or until nicely browned. Remove from pan.
  7. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and fishcakes. Serve with sriracha sauce, juniper cole slaw and green beans with butter.

Juniper Cole Slaw Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl. Let sit for about an hour for flavors to blend.

3. Chipotle Grilled Fish Tacos with Cilantro Slaw
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Award Winning Winner: Hooked on Fish Recipe Contest 2013, Brenda Washnock

Yield/Servings: 16 tacos


  • 1 - Large Lake Superior salmon filet sliced into taco manageable pieces, approx. 1" x 2"
  • 16 - Flour tortillas

Marinade Ingredients:

  • 1 - Chipotle pepper, chopped
  • 1 tsp. - Sauce from chipotle pepper can
  • 1 - Clove of garlic, pressed
  • Juice of one-half large lemon
  • Juice of one-half small lime
  • 2 Tbsp. - Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. - Soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. - Oregano

Cilantro Cabbage Slaw Ingredients:

  • 4 cups - Red or green cabbage or combo, packed and shredded
  • 1/2 - Purple onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup - Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup - Olive oil
  • 1/4 cup - Fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup - Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. - Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. - Fresh ground pepper

Main Instructions:

  1. Combine marinade ingredients and puree in a blender or food processor. Set aside a small amount of the sauce in a separate bowl to use after fish is cooked. Place fish in marinade to thoroughly coat and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  2. Place fish pieces onto an enamel-coated grill topper and grill until they get a nice brown coating. Flip fish over and just barely finish the cooking. Do not overcook.
  3. Prepare the slaw as directed.
  4. Heat the tortillas, preferably on the grill.
  5. Take a tortilla and stack it with the grilled fish and slaw and enjoy.

Cilantro Cabbage Slaw Instructions:

  1. Combine cabbage and onion.
  2. Blend remaining ingredients thoroughly and toss with cabbage mixture.
  3. Let sit for at least an hour.

Additional Information:

This chipotle barbecue sauce is delicious. For fish (Lake Superior salmon is preferable) tacos, slice skinless, boneless fillets into small pieces so that one or two will fit into a small flour tortilla. Grill fish on an enamel-coated grill topper until just done. Place fish in a pre-warmed soft flour tortilla. Top with Cilantro cabbage slaw. Larger pieces of fish can also be grilled and served with slaw on the side.

4. Lake Superior Bluefin Herring

Award Winning Grand Winner: A Salute to Lake Superior's Sustainable Fisheries 2011, Ron Bohnert (Danny's Bar and Grill, Stoneridge Golf Club, Stillwater, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 4

Potato Crusted Herring Ingredients:

  • 4 - lake herring fillets, skinned and boned
  • 2 cups - Potato flakes
  • 1 tsp. - Black pepper, restaurant grind
  • 2 - Eggs, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. - Canola oil, olive oil blend
  • 1 Tbsp. - Clarified butter
  • 1 Tbsp. - Fresh butter
  • Dill, micro parsley, as needed
  • 1/2 tsp. - Lemon juice
  • To taste - Salt and black pepper

Potato Crusted Herring Instructions:

  1. Cut fillets on bias into two pieces.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Dip in beaten eggs then in potato flakes mixed with black pepper.
  4. In heavy bottomed hot pan add oil blend and butter.
  5. Place fish in pan and lightly brown; turn and finish cooking.
  6. Remove from pan and place on paper towels.
  7. Wipe out pan and add fresh butter, lemon and dill herb; melted butter mix should be spooned over fish at service.

Caviar Cream Fraiche Ingredients:

  • 1 cup - Vermont créme fraiche
  • 2 Tbsp. - Lake herring roe
  • 2 Tbsp. - Salmon roe
  • 1 Tbsp. - Shallot minced
  • 2 Tbsp. - Chardonnay
  • 2 Tbsp. - Vodka
  • 1 tsp. - Lemon juice
  • To taste - Salt and pepper
  • Dill, chives

Caviar Cream Fraiche Instructions:

  1. Sweat minced shallot in wine, reducing wine by half.
  2. Add vodka and burn off.
  3. Add cream fraiche, stir and remove from heat.
  4. Add both roe and season with lemon, salt and pepper.
  5. Add herbs and ladle over cooked fish fillets.

5. Roasted Superior Herring Chowder

Award Winning Grand Winner: A Salute to Lake Superior's Sustainable Fisheries 2012, John Occhiato (Cosmos, Minneapolis, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 4


  • 2 ea. - Whole lake herring, filleted and scaled
  • 2 cup - Dry vermouth
  • 1 cup - Dry white wine
  • 1 - Yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 - Bay leaf
  • 40 ea. - Mussels
  • 1 cup - Heavy cream
  • 8 oz. - Smoked lake herring, cleaned and flaked
  • 2 ea. - Fennel bulb (reserve fronds)
  • 1/2 cup - Pernod (pronounced pear'-no, a brand name of a high-proof anise liqueur)
  • 3 - Stalks salsify (a root vegetable)
  • 4 ea. - Fingerling potatoes
  • 4 cup - Vegetable oil (for frying)
  • 12 oz. - Butter
  • Thyme stems
  • 2 Tbsp. - Minced chives
  • 1 - Lemon
  • To taste - Salt and pepper



  1. Mix the wine and vermouth in a non-reactive saucepan.
  2. Add sliced yellow onion and bay leaf and cook over high heat until reduced by half.
  3. Add the mussels and cook gently until they open.
  4. Strain and reserve the liquid. When cool, shuck the mussels and place in broth.
  5. Discard the shells, onion and bay.


  1. Slice the fennel thin, leaving the root end intact.
  2. Place in a sauté pan that fits the fennel comfortably and add the pernod and 4 Tbsp. T butter. Barely top with water. Season lightly and simmer until all the liquid is gone.
  3. Set aside.


  1. Peel the salsify and hold in acidulated water until ready to cook. Slice thin on the bias.
  2. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in sauté pan and sauté salsify until just tender.
  3. Season and reserve.

Potato chips:

  1. Place the oil in a saucepan.
  2. Slice the fingerlings into very thin chips.
  3. Place the potatoes in the oil and heat over medium-high heat. Stir often.
  4. When the chips become golden brown transfer them to paper toweling and season.


  1. Make sure there are no scales and pin bones and pat dry.
  2. In a sauté pan large enough to accommodate the 4 fillets heat vegetable oil until the oil slides across the pan like water.
  3. Sauté the fish on the skin side until it begins to brown.
  4. Add 3 Tbsp. butter, and let it foam. Add the thyme stem and off the heat.
  5. Baste the fish until cooked to just medium.

To complete the dish:

  1. Warm all the ingredients and build a ragu in four warm bowls with the fennel, salsify, mussels and the smoked herring.
  2. Add the chives to the mussel cream and spoon over the ragu. Top with a filet of the herring and garnish with the potato chips and fennel fronds.

6. Root Vegetable Hash
with Lake Herring
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Award Winning Superior Award: Lake Superior Fish Classic 2013, Scott Graden (New Scenic Café, Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 1


  • 5-7 oz. - Fresh lake herring fillet
  • 2 oz. - Butter, divided
  • 2 oz. - Rendered duck fat, divided

Vegetable Hash:

  • 1 oz. - Cooked red beets, small dice
  • 1 oz. - Cooked gold beets, small dice
  • 1 oz. - Roasted sweet potato, small dice
  • 1 oz. - Cooked Yukon gold potato, small dice
  • 1 oz. - Red onion
  • 1 oz. - Apple (honey crisp), small dice
  • 1 tsp. - Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 oz. - Crushed hazelnuts
  • 1 each - Soft-boiled egg

Gastrique Sub:

  • 2 oz. - Cider vinegar
  • 3 oz. - Reduced apple cider
  • 1 oz. - Maple syrup
  • 1/2 each - Lemon zest


  1. Boil or roast each root vegetable until fork-tender.
  2. Remove skins, if desired.
  3. Small dice root vegetables, set aside.
  4. Small dice red onion, mince garlic and set aside.
  5. Clean fresh herring, fillet, debone and slit skin side every 1/16 inch. Set aside.
  6. Make gastrique sub recipe and set aside.
  7. In sauté pan, melt half of the butter and half of the rendered duck fat.
  8. Increase heat to 350 degrees or just below the flash point.
  9. Gently place herring in pan, skin-side down.
  10. Cook for 2-3 minutes and flip.
  11. Turn off heat, set fish aside until plating.
  12. In another sauté pan, add remaining butter and duck fat.
  13. Once hot, add diced vegetables, onion and garlic.
  14. Heat through, add salt and pepper to taste, toss gently, set aside and hold until plating.
  15. Soft poach a medium egg.
  16. To construct dish, place the hash in the center of the plate. Top with the herring fillet. Top fish with the poached egg. Finish with cider gastrique, fresh dill sprigs, roe and candied berries.
  17. Finish with (3 each) Dill sprigs, (2 tsp.) Roe or caviar, (4-6 each) Candied blueberries, Salt and pepper to taste.

7. Sea Grant Lake Herring

Award Winning Superior Award and People's Choice Winner: A Salute to Lake Superior's Sustainable Fisheries 2012, Scott Graden (New Scenic Café, Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 4


  • 4 - Lake herring fillets
  • 1.5 - Sticks of butter (salted)
  • To taste - Salt and pepper
  • 12-16 - Root vegetables
  • 2 cup - Milk
  • 1/2 cup - Granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup - Shaved curly endive, or frisée
  • 1 tsp. - Sherry vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp. - Browned butter
  • 4 - Shaved hazelnuts
  • 2 Tbsp. - Fresh herring roe
  • 2 Tbsp. - Mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 cup - Crystallized blueberries (or other)
  • 2 Tbsp. - Cider gastrique


  1. Peel root vegetables, blanch al dente, or boil in 2 cup milk and 1/4 cup of sugar until tender. Set aside.
  2. Shave frisée, add vinaigrette and browned butter (see instructions below), set aside in small mixing bowl.
  3. In sauté pan, heat 6 T butter to high.
  4. Place lake herring fillet in pan and sauté; salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  5. Place root vegetables in sauté pan with 4 Tbsp. butter. Add 1/4 cup sugar; glaze and baste until caramelized.
  6. Mound greens on plate and shave hazelnut over top.
  7. Warm mascarpone and add roe.
  8. Place fish on plate in crisscross pattern; top with roe.
  9. Arrange candied root vegetables on plate.
  10. Finish with cider gastrique and crystallized berries (see instructions below).

*Browned Butter:

  1. Place 1/2 lb of butter in saucepan and warm over medium heat. Once the butter begins to foam, watch carefully. Stir often until the butter solids begin to brown. Once brown, remove from heat and immediately pour into a different container. Refrigerate immediately.

*Crystallized Berries:

  1. Separate egg, discard yolk. Place white in small mixing bowl and whisk vigorously. Toss berries in egg white. Using a fork, remove berries and place on small sheet pan with 1 C granulated sugar. Oscillate pan, rolling the berries until an even coat of sugar is shown. Let berries rest at room temp until use.

*Scott's Cider Gastrique:

  • 1 cup - Sugar
  • 1 tsp. - Water
  • 2 cup - Apple cider
  • 1 cup - Apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 ea. - Lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. - Cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. - Water
  1. In saucepan, coil sugar and water to medium brown. Add cider and vinegar. Return to boil and reduce by 1/3. Slurry, add lemon zest.

*Scott's Sherry Vinaigrette:

  • 6 oz. - Walnut oil
  • 1 1/2 oz. - Brown rice vinegar
  • 2 oz. - Cream sherry
  • 1/2 tsp. - Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. - Garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. - Shallot
  • 1/2 pinch - Salt
  • 1/2 pinch - Pepper
  • 2 drops - Vanilla
  1. Place all ingredients in blender. Blend well. Store in refrigerator.

8. Seared Whitefish with Creamy Grits, Sweet Corn Chow Chow and Poached Herring Butter
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Award Winning Grand Winner and People's Choice Winner: Lake Superior Fish Classic 2013, Seth VanderLaan (Potawatomi Bingo Casino, Milwaukee, WI)

Yield/Servings: Serves 4

Main Ingredients:

  • 2 ea. - Whitefish fillets, skin on and cut in half
  • 2 Tbsp. - Canola oil
  • 2 fl. oz. - Poached herring butter sauce

Main Instructions:

  1. Heat saute pan over medium high heat.
  2. Add canola oil and sear fish portions skin side down. Continue cooking until browning appears up the side of the fish. Turn fish over and continue cooking for one minute. Remove from pan.
  3. Plate fish with butter sauce under the fish to keep skin crispy.
  4. Serve with 1/4 cup creamy grits and 1/4 cup sweet corn chow chow.

For the Creamy Grits:

  • 1/4 cup - Stone ground white grits
  • 1 cup - Chicken stock
  • 1 Tbsp. - Butter
  • 2 Tbsp. - Heavy cream
  • To taste - Salt and white pepper
  1. Bring stock and cream to a boil.
  2. Add grits and continue to simmer over medium low heat for 30 min. Stir occasionally.
  3. Turn off heat and add butter. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.

For the Sweet Corn Chow Chow:

  • 1 ear - Fresh sweet corn, cut off the cob
  • 1 Tbsp. - Red pepper, small dice
  • 1 Tbsp. - Roma tomato, small dice
  • 1 Tbsp. - White onion, small dice
  • 1/4 cup - Champagne vinegar
  • 1/3 cup - Cold water
  • 1 tsp. - Sugar
  • 1 pinch - Fresh ground mustard seed
  • 1 pinch - Fresh ground coriander
  • 1 tsp. - Chopped fresh herbs (basil, thyme and parsley)
  • To taste - Salt and pepper
  1. Combine all ingredients in large bowl and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes.
  2. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

For the Herring Butter:

  • 1 cup - Court bouillon or vegetable stock
  • 2 Tbsp. - Sweet white wine
  • 1 Tbsp. - Heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup - Butter, cubed
  • 2 ea. - Lake herring fillets, skin off
  • To taste - Salt and white pepper
  1. Bring bouillon and white wine to a light simmer. Turn off heat and let sit for 1 minute.
  2. Add herring to liquid and let sit for 3 minutes or until cooked all the way through.
  3. Remove herring and set aside, Discard 1/2 of the liquid in the pan. Add the heavy cream and reduce remaining liquid by half.
  4. Remove from heat and slowly add the cubed butter.
  5. Lightly shred the cooked herring and add to butter sauce.
  6. Season to taste with salt and white pepper.

Hors d'oeuvres

1. Allspice Herring
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Recipe by Sharon Hawk (Edwardsville, IL)

Yield/Servings: Serves 8-9


  • 8 or 9 - Herring Fillets (use frozen fish - recommended to combat parasites)
  • 100 ml - Distilled White Vinegar
  • 200 ml - Sugar
  • 300 ml - Water
  • 2 - Yellow Onions, Peeled and Sliced
  • 1 tsp. or 1 1/2 tsp. - Allspice, Crushed (Depending on your level of spiciness)
  • 1 tsp. - Red Pepper Flakes
  • 3/4 tsp. - Nutmeg
  • 3/4 tsp. - Ginger


  1. Soak herring fillets in water overnight and then drain.
  2. Bring white distilled vinegar, sugar and water to a boil.
  3. Remove from stove and cool the liquid.
  4. Add yellow onion, allspice, red pepper flakes.
  5. Wipe the herring fillets dry before cutting them into 1-inch chunks.
  6. Put the herring chunks into a large glass bowl or jar.
  7. Pour over the cooled liquid.
  8. Keep in refrigerator or cool with ice for 24 hours before serving.

Enjoy this herring with your favorite sour cream, bread or eggs.

2. Baked Lake Superior Whitefish
Toast Points
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Award Winning Winner: 2011 Minnesota Sea Grant Recipe Contest, Hannah Wolters (Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 16


  • Whole Wheat Baguette
  • 5 - Fresh Lake Superior Whitefish Fillets
  • 1/3 cup - Butter, Melted
  • 1/3 cup - Lemon Juice, Divided
  • Salt and Pepper for Sprinkling
  • 1 - Red Slicing Tomato
  • 2 - Avocados
  • 8 oz. - Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp. - Onion Powder
  • 3 Tbsp. - Fresh Cilantro, Diced Finely (Additional for Garnish)
  • 2/3 cup - Black Olives, Sliced


  1. Slice the baguette into 1/4-inch slices. You need about 16-20 pieces, so save the rest for something different.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 400°F, spray a medium casserole dish with non-stick spray.
  3. In a bowl, stir together the butter and 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice. Place the fillets in the dish and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle salt and pepper on top. Cover and bake for 10-15 minutes until fish fillets are cooked through.
  4. Remove from pan and discard the liquid.
  5. Using a fork, break the fillets up in a bowl. Don't pulverize them; you want chunks, not spread.
  6. Dice the tomato and add to the fish. Peel, core and dice the avocado, and add to the fish along with the olives.
  7. Microwave the cream cheese to soften it. Add the remaining 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, onion powder, and cilantro.
  8. Spread the cream cheese mixture on to the toasted baguette slices, dividing it evenly among all pieces.
  9. Top with a spoonful of the fish-tomato mixture onto the toast. The amount will depend on the size of your tomato, avocado and fillets, but try to get an equal amount on each one.
  10. If desired, garnish each with a small sprig of cilantro.
  11. Serve chilled along with your choice of other delightful finger foods.

Additional Information:

This is a delightful little appetizer or party food. The small size and simple ingredients may have you thinking it is a lame party food, but don't be fooled. This little guy is the star of your next lake front party and will be the envy of all your friends.

3. Dan's Lake Trout Hors D'oeuvre
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Recipe by June Kallestad (Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Varies


  • Sturdy Crackers (Dan recommends Vinta crackers in the red box.)
  • Cream Cheese
  • Horseradish Sauce
  • Smoked Lake Trout


  1. Simply spread cream cheese on cracker, add a layer of horseradish to your liking and top with a hearty chunk of trout. Open wide and enjoy!

4. Nueske's Grilled Whitefish
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Recipe by Brian Huberty (Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 2


  • Nueske's Bacon from Wisconsin, 4-6 slices per fish on average
  • One 16 oz Whitefish Fillet


  1. Use a Weber Charcoal Grill and start about 40 briquettes in 2 rows with an empty channel in the middle for indirect heating and to prevent flare-ups from the bacon drippings.
  2. Place a couple slices of bacon on top of the fish. Put fish on foil. Place on the grill on top of the channel. You can elect to place additional bacon slices on top of the fish.
  3. Cook the fish for no more than 10 minutes covered. You may have to finish the bacon on the side depending on temperatures.

Additional Information:

  1. Add wild rice with green peppers and pearl onions, smothered in mozzarella cheese with sour dough bread. Wash it down with Lake Superior stout beer!

5. Pete's Smoked Fish Spread
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Recipe by Floyd "Pete" Pearson (Grand Marais, MN)

Yield/Servings: Varies


  • 2 lbs. - Smoked Fish (Lake Trout, Salmon or Whitefish)
  • 8 oz. - Cream Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. - Horseradish
  • 1/3 cup - Chopped Ripe Olives
  • 1/3 cup - Chopped Green Olives
  • 1/3 cup - Chopped Cocktail Onions
  • 2 tsp. - Juice from Cocktail Onions
  • Juice from 1 Lime
  • 2 Tbsp. - Chopped Chives
  • Milk, Cream or Half & Half (Amount Varies)


  1. Remove skin from fish, remove flesh from bones and break fish up by hand removing any bones.
  2. Combine all ingredients except for milk. Use a fork to blend the mixture. Watch for any bones you may have missed.
  3. Add small amounts of milk (or cream or half & half) to get the spreading texture you would like.
  4. Serve with crackers.

6. Smoked Lake Herring Appetizers
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Recipe by Marie S. Fegley (Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 18-20



  • 1 - Large Cucumber

Smoked Lake Herring Spread:

  • 1 cup (packed) approximately 5 oz. - Wood Smoked Lake Herring
  • 2 Tbsp. - Finely Chopped Celery
  • 1 Tbsp. - Finely Chopped Yellow Onion
  • 2 tsp. - Lemon Juice
  • Dash of Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup - Mayonnaise (or less, to taste)


  • Lemon rind finely grated
  • Capers
  • drained Flat leaf parsley, small sprigs



  1. Cut approximately 1" off either end to achieve uniform slices. With table fork, run tines deep into cucumber skin, lengthwise, to form a pattern on cucumber skin before making slices 1/4" thick - approximately 2" in diameter.

Spread & Garnish:

  1. Flake herring carefully off bones.
  2. Break up herring with fork in bowl.
  3. Add all ingredients except garnish. Mix well.
  4. Add heaping teaspoon herring spread onto center of cucumber slice.
  5. Garnish with pinch of grated lemon rind, two capers and a small sprig of parsley.
  6. Enjoy!

7. Superior Beef Slider
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Recipe by Bruce Reeves (Duluth, MN)

Yield/Servings: Serves 8


  • Short Ribs, Fish and Onions
  • 2 oz. - Smoked Pancetta, Cubed
  • To taste - Salt and pepper
  • 2 lbs. - Beef, Short Ribs, Cut Into 3" Pieces
  • Olive Oil for Sautéing and Caramelizing
  • 2 cups - Onion, Sliced for the Slow Cooker
  • 2 cups - Onion, Sliced for Caramelizing
  • 1/4 cup - Dry Red Wine
  • 1 lb. - Whitefish
  • 2 shots - Limoncello, or Sweet Lemon Liquid-Like Lemonade
  • 8 - Slider Buns, or *Optional Bread Recipe (See below.)


  1. Prepare the beef: Set a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and brown the pancetta. With a slotted spoon remove the pancetta and set aside, leaving the rendered fat in the pan. Sprinkle short ribs with salt then add to hot skillet. Brown short ribs well on all sides. Transfer the ribs into a bowl and season with pepper. Add the oil to the skillet, if needed, and sauté 2 cups of the onions for about 3 minutes; transfer to the slow cooker. Swirl the red wine in the hot skillet and scrape up the browned bits. Layer the beef ribs in the slow cooker, add the pancetta and pour the wine and browned bits over the top.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 10 hours, or until short ribs are very tender. Remove meat from the bones and transfer to a bowl. With a slotted spoon, remove the rest of the onions, etc. from the slow cooker and mix in with the short rib meat. Shred the beef mixture.
  3. Marinate the fish: While beef short ribs are in the slow cooker, put the fish in a freezer bag with some limoncello and let it marinate in the refrigerator. The fish does not need to be swimming in the limoncello, but make sure it is coated. If you do not have limoncello, something like lemonade should work. The idea is to have lemon and sugar for the fish to marinate in.
  4. Caramelize the remaining onions: When the ribs are done, start caramelizing the remaining 2 cups of onions. Put a little olive oil in a pan, and cook the onions until they become a dark brown - about 20 minutes. Stir them occasionally to keep them from burning.
  5. Cook the fish: Heat a cast iron skillet with a little butter or oil and cook the fish.
  6. Assemble the slider: On a slider bun (or the optional bread recipe) layer the fish, beef and onions. Generally, equal thickness of the 3 layers seems to taste best, but adjust the relative amounts of each layer to suit your taste.

*Optional Bread Recipe:

  • 1 1/2 cCups - Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1/2 cup - White Whole Wheat
  • 1/4 cup - Corn Meal Flour
  • 1 tsp. - SAF Instant Red Yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp. - Salt
  • 5/8 cup - Water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. - Extra Virgin Olive Oil

*Bread Instructions:

  1. Add the flours, yeast and salt into a stand mixer bowl with a paddle attachment. Blend together. Add the water and olive oil to the flour mix and blend. Change the paddle to a dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes. Add a little more unbleached flour if the dough is too sticky or a little water if the dough is too dry.
  2. Coat a bowl with olive oil. Form the dough into a ball, and roll around in the bowl to coat with the oil. Cover the bowl with a cloth napkin and set aside to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume - about 1 to 1.5 hours.
  3. Punch down the dough and knead briefly by hand to release air. Form into a baguette and place on a baking sheet. Cover with the cloth napkin and set aside to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
  4. Bake in a 400 degree oven until browned - about 40 minutes. Place on a cooling rack. The bread may be used warm or cold.

* A note on the corn meal flour: Corn meal works also. The difference is in the texture. Pick what works for you.

Additional Information:

This is my Lake Superior take on the wonderful Beef Short Rib and Scallop slider my wife and I ate at Manny's Steak House in Minneapolis, MN. In place of the scallops I use whitefish, and instead of haystack onions I use caramelized onions to add some of the sweetness the scallops provided in Manny's dish. Also be sure to use the fish marinade to help add the other sweetness the scallops provided in Manny's dish. Use slider buns or my optional bread recipe. For a wine pairing, try a Nero d'Avola from Sicily.

8. Wildly Wonderful Wild Rice Soup


  • 4 strips of bacon
  • 1 1/3 cups - Small Diced Carrots
  • 1 cup - Onion, chopped
  • 1 cup - Celery, chopped
  • 1/2 lb. - Fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3/4 cup - Flour
  • 8 cups - Chicken Broth
  • 1 1/2 cups - Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 cups - Wild Rice, cooked
  • 2 cups - Diced Chicken, cooked
  • 1/4 tsp. - Dried Thyme


  1. Cook bacon and set aside.
  2. Sauté carrots, onions, celery and mushrooms in bacon grease (add butter if necessary).
  3. Stir in flour.
  4. Mix in broth and whipping cream.
  5. Add wild rice, chicken, thyme and crumbled bacon.
  6. Simmer over low heat for 45 minutes.

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