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Classic Fish Tacos

From Trejo's Tacos by Danny Trejo

Recipe & Instructions

Fish Tacos

yields 8 tacos

1½ pounds fresh walleye

1 cup coleslaw mix

¼ cup Cumin Crema (see recipe below)


Black pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Splash of margarita mix (or 1 lime)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Corn tortillas

Pico de Gallo

Cotija cheese

Pat the walleye dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. In a large pan set over medium-high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until it is just shimmering, about 2 minutes. Add the fish and cook until the pieces are lightly browned and just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Use a spatula to transfer the cooked cod to a large plate, and then splash some margarita mix on it, or squeeze the juice from the lime on it.

In a medium bowl, combine the coleslaw mix with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, Cumin Crema, and cilantro. Season with salt to taste.

Warm the tortillas.

Place some of the slaw mixture on a tortilla, top it with fish, pico de dallo, and Cotija cheese. Enjoy.

Cumin Crema

yields about 1 cup

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Greek yogurt, cumin, and salt until well combined. Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 3 day.


Freeland and the Freeland Walleye Festival

“Something fishy starts Friday in Freeland, and folks feel just fine about it. ‘It’s a great kind of chaos,’ said Mary Kay Knoerr, co chairman of the community’s seventh annual Walleye Festival. The event, which raises funds for a variety of Tittabawassee Township organizations, also has generated $6,000 for its independent organizing committee since its conception.” (From “Freeland Celebrates the Walleye,” the Saginaw News, April 21, 1992)

This weekend the community of Freeland will host its 36th Walleye Festival Friday, April 29-Sunday, May 2.

While rich in tradition, the event is young in comparison with the history of the region. Although the first Tittabawassee Township meeting was held in 1841, people have lived in the area and fished for Walleye - the fish that is the star of the festival - for thousands of years. Traces of indigenous settlements are found throughout the township – especially near the river and the bones of walleye – Sander vitreus – are found in archaeological sites throughout the region.

The Tittabawassee River is the dominant geographical feature in the township and has for centuries been pivotal to the people living in the area. Providing food and transportation, it is unlikely that the village would exist without it – certainly, without the river there would be no walleye and no festival. However, it is the rich and fertile farmland that made the community prosper.

The history of the village of Freeland is much more diverse than we can cover in one short post; however, we thought we would provide early images of the community and this 1918 description of it. We encourage you to visit Freeland during the Walleye Festival and include this recipe so that at some point you can try cooking some walleye on your own.

In 1918, James Cooke Mills described Freeland for his History of Saginaw County, writing:

“At present Freeland is a thriving village of about five hundred people, and in common with most the villages of Saginaw County, is a farming community, devoted chiefly to the interests of the rural population. That the surrounding farms are the principal sources of its prosperity is evident on approaching the place. Two large elevators are situated on the tracks of the Pere Marquette Railroad are capable of handling the grain of nearby farmers, and both show unmistakable signs of prosperity. Beans are the great crop of Tittabawassee Township, especially in the neighborhood of Freeland, and an extensive acreage is planted each year, the product being shipped to outside markets. Wheat and corn are also raised in large quantities for shipment to other points…In the village are three large general stores, well supplied with the necessities which the farmer calls for, a prosperous drug store, a thriving newspaper, the Freeland Star. There is also a strong bank which occupies a handsome building of its own, and looks after the financial needs of a wide territory.”

Image 1: Carrie Lincoln, a Freeland High School Student and winner of the logo contest, designed the First Freeland Walleye Festival Logo. (Thank you to: Carrie Lincoln Lavine and Judy and Larry Lincoln)

Image 2: Plate map of village of Freeland, 1877

Image 3: List of Freeland Businesses, 1877


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