February 15, 2015

Michigan

Statehood: January 26th, 1837 (26/50)

When I was a kid, I was absolutely obsessed with the Detroit Red Wings. For those of you (who hate sports, skip to the next paragraph now) who know hockey, this was during the reign of the "Wizards of Ov" - when coach Scotty Bowman had Sergei Fedorov, Vyacheslav Kozlov, Igor Larionov, Viacheslav Feisov, and Vladimir Konstantinov at the helm (not to mention Steve Yzerman, Paul Coffey, Nicklas Lindstrom, and Chris Osgood around that time as wel). In fifth grade, I even got to be the "Michigan" representative for a school wide educational event... I talked about automobile manufacturing, the agricultural scene (specifically cherries and apples), The Great Lakes, and some "regional foods" like coney dogs (which is basically a hot dog smothered in mustard, a type of chili sauce, and chopped raw onions) and pasties (a meat hand pie).

It wasn't until later that I learned that The Wolverine State also has an amazing craft beer scene, the most lighthouses of any state in the country (which boggles my little Maine brain), the largest crucifix in the world ("The Cross In The Woods" is 31 feet tall and located in Indian River), enormous salt mines 1,200 feet underneath the city of Detroit, and the only place in the world with a floating post office (the J.W. Wescott II is a boat that's been in operation delivering mail to other vessels for over 125 years).

Unfortunately, Michigan doesn't technically have any official state foods (according to a representative of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation). They do, however, have an official state fish... but do we honor this creature by eating it? Maybe some are okay with that, but it doesn't feel right to me; then again, I don't have many choices with MI and I AM craving fish tacos so...  forgive me, Mr. Brook Trout, for what's about to happen below.

Marinate on that, Michiganian's, while we masticate on a marvelous made-up menu!


State Fish: Brook Trout

In 1965 the trout was named the official state fish; in 1988 the Michigan state legislature specified that it was the brook trout which are native to the state.

Fishless Tacos (To Honor The Brook Trout Without Actually Eating It)
Makes: 12 fish tacos

Ingredients for chipotle ranch sauce:
2 chipotle peppers (from Embasa can or something similar)
1 cup mayo or vegan alternative (like this)
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

Method:
In a blender, add all ingredients and puree until combined and smooth. Refrigerate until you're ready to use it.

Ingredients for fishless tacos:
2 10.1-oz bags of Gardein Golden Fishless Filets
2 cups shredded cabbage
6 radishes (thinly sliced for about 1 cup)
1 ripe mango, skin removed and julienned
12 corn tortillas

Method:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Bake Gardein Golden Fishless Filets for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping halfway through the cook time.

To assemble tacos: place one Gardein Golden Fishless Filet on corn tortilla. Top with cabbage, radishes, mango, and a drizzle of chipotle ranch. Yum!


Sources:
Fink, Bonnie. "RE: Travel Michigan: Question". Message to the author. 29 Oct. 2013. E-mail.
Michigan.gov: Michigan's State Symbols