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Christmas Ordering Cutoff

Due to an AMAZING amount of business from an AMAZING amount of customers, our shipping cutoff is Sunday, December 21st at 12:00 PM, CST. New Year’s gifts are still available – so orders placed after the cutoff will be processed in time for the kick-off to 2015!
Thanks to all of you, and happiest of holidays!

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A Very Special Event

We are really excited to announce our very first Smokehaus Dinner!

It will be a limited-seating, ticket-holding, belly-stuffing extravaganza at the absolutely exquisite Hemlock Preserve in Esko, Minnesota.
We will be frying up the finest Minnesota chicken and serving it with heaps of Hausmade sides – our spin on late summer comfort food. We will also serve beer and wine, dessert, and entertainment. The event starts at 5PM on Thursday, August 21st and will surely go long enough to get the bonfire blazing.

Tickets will be available Thursday, July 31st in the shop and we also can mail them to you if you give us a ring: (218) 724-7307.

For images of Hemlock Preserve, click here and here and here.

Hope to see you there!

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Kingfield Farmers Market Dates

Well, we finally took the plunge and decided to take our show on the road. Minneapolis has long beckoned us to its metal and glass banks, and we realized that we could accomplish this (and meet a lot of great food people) by sticking a toe in the Farmers Market scene.
Once a month, we will be at the beautiful and friendly Kingfield Farmers Market at 4310 Nicollet Ave. in Minneapolis to sell (for now) our salami: up for grabs will be Salamini, Pepperoni, Saucisson Sec, and Chorizo.

Further on down the line, we very well might bring other goodies, such as our smoked fish and smoked meats – as long as we figure out how to keep it cold! 
The upcoming dates this year are: 
June 22
July 20
August 24
September 21 Cancelled
October 12
See you there …

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Bike Delivery Map

It’s on! Our delivery service is up and running … er, biking – all over downtown, Canal Park, and Park Point. We’ve been delivering an array of sandwiches, specials, and groceries for the past several weeks and it’s working out beautifully: no traffic, no searching for a parking spot, and calves of STEEL.
Give us a call and we will make your Smokehaus dreams come true – on wheels.

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Lake Superior Flavors Book Signing and Smokehaus Goodies

We are so excited to be part of the upcoming food/travel book Lake Superior Flavors! Our old friends from the terrific food blog “Heavy Table” have written an epic, exhaustive ode to the food, culture, and people around Lake Superior. 

men on the north shore of lake superior in a canoe

For those of you who frequent the area, you’ll probably get a kick out of all the familiar faces featured in the book (as we did), and for you poor souls who haven’t had a chance to sample the splendiferous shores of the Third Coast – well, you’ll probably be convinced to pay us a visit.

Speaking of visiting, the author James Norton and photographer Becca Dilley will be in Duluth tomorrow to sign copies, and we’re bringing the snacks! Plan on Smoked Lake Trout platters and charcuterie galore.

Be there or be slightly more hungry: The Bookstore at Fitgers, 1:30, Saturday May 6th.

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Bicycle Delivery! That’s How We Roll.

We are excited to announce a new feature of a Smokehaus summer … sandwiches delivered by bike! We think it’s a great way to resolve the issue of traffic flow/hungry people throughout much of Canal Park, Downtown, and Park Point, and expect it to be fast and furious for the next several months. 

Starting May 4th, we will be delivering sandwiches (any quantity), sodas, and sides  Monday – Friday, 11:00 AM to 4 PM, throughout a limited though significant area of Duluth. Just give us a ring and we’ll hop on our ten speeds!

We also plan to eventually expand our hours into weekend delivery, and especially look forward to beach rendezvous. Might I recommend an Italiensk? It really is better after some time in the sun. 


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Smokehaus Recipe: Roasted Fennel Salad

The rumors are correct: the Smokehaus can make salad. Occasionally, the Smokehaus makes a tremendously delicious salad, even, and this is one of them. 

It pops up from time to time on our catering menu and we shift the recipe to include fried copa or not, depending on the vegetarian population at any given event. Also, this salad does well with many types of dressing – I’m giving you a recipe for the standard roasted red pepper sauce, but feel free to use the vinaigrette of your choice.

Roasted Fennel Salad with Coppa

Smokehaus Roasted Fennel Salad

For the Dressing:

2 Cups Roasted Red Peppers (do it at home – always a good time – or buy them by the can)

Squirt of Lemon 

Olive Oil 

Salt and Pepper to taste

4-5 Fennel Bulbs

2-3 Tablespoons Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Mixed Greens

1 Cup Cashews or Marcona Almonds

1 Cup Sweetie Drops

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

Make the dressing by pureeing the red peppers in a food processor or blender with the squirt of lemon while slowly incorporating enough olive oil to create a runny dressing. When smooth, add salt and pepper to taste.

Wash and quarter the fennel, discarding (or saving for later) the feathery tops. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, put in an even layer on a baking sheet, and bake for 15 minutes. Tousle, and continue cooking (and tousling, if need be) for another 30 minutes or until evenly brown. Remove and let cool slightly. 

Combine all ingredients (we prefer greens, then fennel, then nuts, then sweetie drops, then a drizzle of dressing). Top with fried, crispy Copa if desired.

Makes 4 big servings or 6 smaller ones.

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Mortadella Madness

It’s been many years in the making, but we finally nailed a Mortadella recipe! Originating in Italy, Mortadella is basically fancy bologna – which made us think, “hey, how hard can it be to make a low-rent lunchmeat?” Pretty damn hard, it turns out.

One of our first brushes with Mortadella manufacture resulted in a flavor not unlike a wet, fetid dog and a texture that was mealy. It was perhaps the most inedible product we have ever made at the Smokehaus, before or since. We threw the whole batch away – there was nothing else to do with it. 

Bologna was surprisingly hard-to-get, like some sort of across the tracks romantic tableau where you try to sweep the town drunk’s daughter off her feet only to realize that she isn’t really interested (at least not without some effort). We mistakenly thought Mortadella was a sure thing. We quickly moved on to less complicated garde manger duties, like dry-cured Saucisson Sec and country-style pate. 

A few more attempts here and there resulted in similar failures, leading us to believe that Oscar Meyer (and his millions of dollars worth of machines) had us licked. But this winter has been a winter of discovery – the punishing weather forced us to tinker, to dream, to get a little risky – and we culminated our Mad Professor moods attempting  another round with Mortadella: The One That Got Away. 

We hit the books and got on the phone, lining up the best local pork we could find, along with the most celestial back fat on earth. We ordered synthetic casings – a Smokehaus first – and discussed cooking methods (smoking v. poaching v. roasting v. a combination) in a fairly argumentative way, all of us desperately craving the same two goals: 1) Not to f@#% this up, and 2) To eat copious amounts of Mortadella. We bought exquisite organic pistachios. We diced perfect cubes of lardon. We emulsified. We stuffed. We hung. We waited. 

The outcome of this first heavily anticipated meat torpedo was, if not a disaster, at least a solid rebuke. Although the flavor, color, and shape were exactly as designed, the texture was so powdery, so resistant to the creamy, hammy bliss that is intrinsic to Mortadella, that it actually somehow was able to remove any resonant moisture in your mouth as you ate it. Kind of like a reverse-treat. Like the lunchmeat was punishing us by taking our saliva away after years of drooling about it. Bitch. 

But we tried again.

We adjusted the fat ratio (which is a little stunning, even by our hedonistic standards) along with a few other key technique-oriented factors and voila: Mortadella is finally on our side, pink and perfect. Creamy, dreamy, studded with mild pistachio and aggressive peppercorn – we are definitely going steady. 

mortadella; smokehaus mortadella

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Smokehaus Recipe: Copa Cups

Here’s a simple recipe that only  requires a few skills and access to Copa (sometimes spelled Coppa), a dry-cured specially-trimmed collar butt. We have been making Copa for the last couple years, and find the most tender time of year to remove it from the aging room and promptly eat it is early Spring – or it could be that the necessary wait time for this delicacy makes it seem overwhelmingly delicious whenever we eat it, which in this case happens to be right now, aka early Spring – I’ll get back to you on that.

Copa, coppa, smokehaus charcuterie, charcuterie, Berkshire, dry-cured, proscuitto

The eggs we are lucky enough to get here at the Smokehaus are courtesy of a very dear blacksmith friend (he made Eric’s corkscrew grill and helped construct the monolithic pizza oven) who raises a small flock of very happy chickens who, like us, subsist on a protein-rich diet which includes Smokehaus smoked salmon skins. I heartily recommend seeking out a similar situation, although it’s hard to imagine an equal to these eggs.

Copa cups, coppa cups, recipe for eggs with dry-cured meat, baked eggs with prosciutto, parmesan crisp, basil oil, recipe

Copa Cups

12 thin slices of Copa

6 eggs, preferably high quality

1/4 – 1/2 pound of Parmigiano, aged Gouda, or other hard cheese

Basil oil for garnish 

Preheat your oven at 350 f. 

Line a 6-cup muffin tin with two pieces of Copa in each cup (if you have a 12-cup tin, double the recipe). Bake the Copa for 10-15 minutes, or until Copa has started to crisp (but not overly brown). Remove from oven and let cool. Reduce the oven to 325.

coppa cups, copa, dry-cured pork, recipe, Smokehaus   Copa, Coppa, cooked coppa, recipe

Fine-grate the cheese. Heat a large non-stick or cast iron skillet just above medium. Once the skillet is hot, drop small (approximately 1 Tablespoon) piles of cheese about 2 inches apart. Let cook (this is scary – but just go with it) until evenly bubbly. Remove the cheese discs with a metal spatula and let rest on a cutting board. Continue until satisfied (you can keep extras in a sealed container for a day or two in the fridge). 

parmesan crisp recipe, shredded parmesan, frying parmesan, frying parmigianno    frying parmesan, parmesan crisp recipe, parmesan tuille 

        Parmesan tuille, parmesan crisp finished, close-up fried parmesan

Crack an egg into each Copa cup and bake in the oven for at least 10 minutes (but probably longer): until the whites are set but the yolks are soft – unless you prefer them otherwise.

eggs baked in muffin tin, eggs with coppa, baked egg recipe  

 eggs in coppa, eggs in muffin tin with coppa, baked eggs

When the eggs are as you like them, remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes. 

Plate the eggs by popping them out of the muffin tin with a butter knife or other longish, flatfish implement, and place them on a plate. Adorn them with a cheese chip (tuile, frico, crisp – pick your urbane-etude). Give them a little nudge of basil oil (we made our own with fresh basil, salt, fresh lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil). 

Seduce the object of your affection with your culinary cunning, or make a table full of guests wish it was always brunch time – even though it nearly always is.

baked eggs with coppa and parmesan crisps, basil oil, creative brunch, smokehaus recipe, coppa recipe, ham and egg recipe

We ate ours with Miller High Life: The Champagne of Beers.

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Smokehaus Recipe: Smoked Lake Superior Lake Trout Ravioli with Marcona Almond Herb Butter

Ok, don’t let the wordy girth of this one scare you. Ravioli is a little involved, but it really is pretty straightforward – and making them is a pleasant way to pass an afternoon. I like this one as a dinner for two: a dainty main-course that will satisfy you but not stuff you.

We sell Marcona Almonds in our Duluth deli, but I’ve spied them at several grocery stores. They are buttery, salty, and oh-so-bathed in sunflower oil, which gives the sauce a unique texture that clings to the ravioli without overshadowing the more subtle balance of the filling. 

The smoked mushrooms are a winter experiment – they may turn up this spring in terrines, on our catering menu, and even on a sandwich or two. As mentioned below, you can certainly make a fine version of this without them.  

Smoked Lake Superior Smoked Lake Trout Ravioli with Herbed Marcona Almond Butter

Smoked Lake Trout Ravioli

For the Pasta Dough:

3 large, preferably high-quality eggs

2 cups “OO” flour

For the Filling:

1/2 pound Lake Superior Smoked Lake Trout

15 ounces whole milk ricotta

zest of one lemon

1 heaping Tablespoon small-diced smoked mushrooms



1 large egg, beaten

For the Herbed Almond Butter:

1/2 cup Marcona almonds

1/2 cup (or a little more) extra-virgin olive oil

6-7 leaves of fresh basil

1 Tablespoon of de-sprigged (fresh) rosemary

1 Tablespoon of de-sprigged (fresh) thyme

Squirt of fresh lemon

salt to taste


Fine diced red onion

Fine shredded Parmigiano, aged Gouda, or Pecorino

On a large, dry surface, mound the flour. Create a large well in the center – enough to accommodate the eggs – and crack them into it. 

Making pasta  Pasta dough ball  

With a fork, gently beat the eggs, slowly incorporating the flour as you go. Begin to work the eggs into the dough with your hands, leaving some flour on the outskirts: you only want to use enough to adequately moisten the dough. I’ve learned to be very cautious with my flour, especially during the winter months in Duluth – drier weather means drier pasta! When the dough holds together and becomes semi-smooth, scrape away the excess flour from the work surface and begin to knead.  

Knead the dough for 10 minutes or so, until it is smooth and elastic. Cut the dough in 6 equal parts, roll these into balls, and wrap each ball in plastic. Let rest at room temperature while you make your filling.

Smoked Lake Superior Lake Trout

With a fork, flake the Lake Trout. I prefer a tail for this recipe: there are less bones to contend with. Gently work the flesh away from the spine, prying a little at a time. Place the flaked trout in a large bowl. To this, mix in the ricotta, lemon zest, and smoked mushrooms (you can also use your own deeply sautéed version, cooled and then small-diced). Taste the mixture and adjust salt and pepper – when you have the seasoning where you want it to be, incorporate the egg. Cover the mixture and refrigerate while you make your herbed almond butter. 

In a food processor or blender, pulse the almonds a few times, adding a little olive oil as you go. When the almonds are fairly broken, add the herbs and more olive oil and puree for 30-40 seconds. Taste the mixture, adding lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste, and also adding enough olive oil to make for a smooth, softer-than-peanut-butter consistency. Place in bowl, cover, and set aside. 

Herbed almond butter preparation

Herbed almond butter ingredients in a blender

Herbed almond butter

Put a large pot of heavily salted water on the stove and crank the heat.Lay a clean cotton cloth on a baking sheet and have nearby your ravioli-making operation. Roll out each dough ball, using either a pasta roller if or a rolling pin, and construct the ravioli each time you roll out the dough rather than rolling all the sheets at once – the pasta will begin to dry out as soon as you roll it, and ravioli likes it sticky! 

For larger ravioli, we hand-rolled the dough and did a fold-over technique for each individual ravioli, rolling the balls out to 6-7 inch approximate rectangles, placing about 3 Tablespoons of filling to the side, folding the dough over the filling, pressing out the air bubbles and simultaneously sealing in the dough, and finally cutting the ravioli free with a biscuit cutter. We then placed the mega-ravioli on the aforementioned cloth.  For smaller (regular size ravioli) you can make several at once, basically repeating the same process but using a scant teaspoon of filling and placing the dollops at regular intervals that accommodate the dough pouch and the dough halo. Instead of a biscuit cutter, use a knife or a ravioli wheel to separate the pasta. Again, place these little guys on the prepared cloth, making sure they don’t touch (they tend to stick together as they dry). 

Rolled out pasta dough

Assembling the smoked lake trout ravioli

Finished smoked lake trout ravioil

Smoked Lake Superior Lake Trout Ravioli

After all the ravioli work, your pasta water should be boiling and ready to go. Gently pick up the cloth and create a hammock for the ravioli and pour them en masse into the pot. If the water is still at a rolling boil after you add the ravioli, turn it down a notch so as not to assault the pasta. Cook until pasta is tender and the filling is heated through – about 4 minutes or so. 

When the pasta is cooked, you can strain them in a colander or remove them to a bowl with a slotted spoon. If you opt for the smaller ravioli, toss them (gently) with a little olive oil to prevent sticking. 

Place a dollop of the almond mixture on a plate, add one mega ravioli (or several smaller ones), add another dollop of almond mixture, another round of ravioli, and then a final dollop of almond mixture. Garnish with fresh-grated cheese and red onion, and eat immediately, if not sooner.

Smoked Lake Trout Ravioli