Up north, there is no more quintessential meal than the one that makes Lake Superior whitefish its centerpiece. Restaurants may be few here, and their food not always what we’d like, but you can always, everywhere find whitefish on the menu and it’s always, everywhere going to be delicious.

The most classic preparation of Lake Superior whitefish is plank style, which is really very stylish, with whipped potatoes piped all around it and baked to a golden brown. I order planked whitefish often when I eat out up north; home cooking doesn’t, however, lend itself to the planks (though we will do that here at some point). We have been making our whitefish at home for years with a simple, surprising–and above all, delectable–preparation that is good enough for company and easy enough to get you to cook it again and again.

This week, I’m going to dissect our classic whitefish dinner the way we make it on Main Street, posting one dish of the meal each day with tips on how to make simplicity taste great. The key to this summer supper is not to have to think too much, or set a fancy table, to get a special result. By Friday you’ll be making your whitefish dinner wherever you live, and feeling like a true Michigander.

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