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5 things-Smokehaus week review

Our Smokehaus week in review.

#1. Obviously the most buzzy thing that happened last week was our catering team went to the game of games, the Super Bowl! The recap from the team was all good stuff. They impressed a packed house of over 2,000 guests who were there to eat food, drink and party, party, party. Our team rocked the vibe with their table concept and their pickled mushrooms received HIGH praise. We are proud of our team!!!

#2. We have new shirts for sale! Get ’em while they’re hot. Show your Smokehaus love. These beauties are super soft and sleek.

 

#3. Send something smoky to your loved ones. Now featuring 2 limited-time gift boxes for the holiday of love: Hey, Sweetie and It’s Gouda Together. These sassy little gift boxes are sure to show your appreciation for that special person in your life. Be it your loving mom, big bro, or lifetime partner. Show ’em you love ’em.

smokehaus hey sweetie

#4. Not quite done with the day of love just yet. What else does every Valentine need? A little cocktail! Check out these cocktail recipes using Simple Syrups on our blog.

#5. Missing summertime? Yep, we are too. Now for a limited time get yourself a Summer Caper sandwich, in the deli! The Summer Caper was super popular this past summer. It starts with a Bakehouse bagel, then gets topped with scallion cream cheese, smoked salmon with pepper & coriander, red onions, lettuce and… drum roll please…….. CAPERS. Ahhhh, so fresh. Gonna need a summer cocktail with this!

summer caper smokehaus

 

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Simple Syrups Three Ways

Life in Duluth revolves around the lake. Whether you think it cheesy, inspirational, mundane or not; Lake Superior rules. The water is calming, refreshing and gives vitality. We drink the best water in the world (it’s our world) every day, so it’s not surprising that this city on the banks of Lake Superior has attracted Vikre Distillery (a lauded and award-winning company) to hand make its delicious spirits  here.
The following recipes use Vikre Gin (you can sub with your favorite London-dry gin– but you should trust us and try Vikre), Lake Superior Water, and some terminology that you might not be used to or maybe you are. Either way let’s define some words so that we’re all on the same page.

Simple Syrup- Usually a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. You can make Rich Syrup or Weak Syrup by altering the ratio in either direction. You can choose to flavor your simple syrup by adding vegetables, herbs, and botanicals.

Cordial- A more ‘advanced’ version of a simple syrup made by infusing water with flowers and/ or fruits.  Cordial sits for longer than a simple syrup in the fridge and is then strained.

Coupe- A type of stemmed glass with a shallow bowl used for champagne, gimlets, martinis, etc.

Collins-  A tall and narrow glass tumbler glass (think Mojitos).

High Ball- A short and stout glass tumbler (think Old Fashioned).

Sour- 1:1 ratio of Lemon Juice and Simple Syrup + Spirit.

Gimlet- 1:1 ratio of  Lime Juice and Simple Syrup +Spirit (or Lime Cordial + Spirit).

Bitters- A pungent liquor that is made with botanicals and added to cocktails for enhancing its flavor profile.

 

Now that we have that covered we can focus on what’s really fun; making our ingredients and having the satisfaction of enjoying a home-made cocktail from scratch.

We’ll start with some simple syrups:

Lavender Syrup

3 TBSP of Dried Lavender

1 C White Sugar

1 C Water

Bring your water and lavender to a soft boil and stir in your sugar. Once sugar is dissolved bring your syrup down to a simmer and stir for a couple minutes. Let your ingredients steep for 15 minutes off heat. Strain with cheese cloth or fine mesh. Allow the syrup to cool and keep it refrigerated.

 

Ginger Syrup

1 C Roughly Cut Ginger (1/2 in- 3/4 in)

1 C White Sugar

1 C Water

Bring your water and ginger to a soft boil and stir in your sugar. Once sugar is dissolved, bring your syrup down to a simmer and stir for a couple of minutes. Let your ingredients steep for 15 minutes off heat. Strain with cheese cloth or fine mesh. If you want to get all of the ginger goodness, use a spoon to press on the softened ginger chunks. Allow the syrup to cool and keep it refrigerated.

 

Basil Syrup

1 C Loosely Packed Basil

1 C White Sugar

1 C Water

Bring your water and basil to a soft boil while stirring occasionally and slowly add in your sugar. Once sugar is dissolved bring your syrup down to a simmer and stir for a couple minutes. Let your ingredients steep for 15 minutes off heat. Strain with cheese cloth or fine mesh. Allow the syrup to cool and keep it refrigerated.

 

Now, what you do with these simple syrups is up to you. You can use them for baking, enhancing your tea, making flavored sodas or making cocktails at home. If you feel like shaking things up, we suggest some variations of sours and gimlets as a go-to for a refreshing evening. If kept in the fridge, your syrup will last about 2 months. 

Lavender Gin Sour

2 oz Vikre Juniper Gin

0.75 oz Lavender Syrup

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

Add the lemon juice, lavender syrup and gin to a shaker and fill with ice. You’ll want to vigorously shake your mix for about 10-15 seconds. Strain into a coupe and enjoy!

Basil Gin Sour

1.5 oz Vikre Juniper Gin

0.75 oz Basil Syrup

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

 

Add the lemon juice, basil syrup and gin to a shaker and fill with ice. You’ll want to vigorously shake your mix for about 10-15 seconds. Strain into a coupe and enjoy!

You can sub the Vikre Boreal Spruce Gin for this cocktail for extra citrus and bright notes.

 

Spring’s in the Air

1.5 oz Vikre Juniper Gin

0.25 oz Ginger Syrup

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

0.50 oz St. Germain (or sub for any Elderflower cordial)

Add the lemon juice, ginger syrup, St. Germain and gin to a shaker and fill with ice. You’ll want to vigorously shake your mix for about 10-15 seconds. Strain into a coupe, garnish with a lemon twist and enjoy!

 

And if coupes are not your style, these syrups lend themselves to make refreshing variations of a Tom Collins.

 

Not Your Average Tom

0.75 oz Lemon Juice

0.75 oz Ginger Syrup

1.5 oz Vikre Boreal Juniper Gin

Soda Water

 

Add the lemon juice, ginger syrup and Juniper Gin to a shaker and fill with ice. Shake well and strain into a highball or Collins glass. Add ice cubes to the top and fill your glass with soda water. Garnish with a lemon wheel or wedge. Enjoy!

 

 

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5 things: From The Shop + A Recipe!

Five Friday Fishmonger Favorites (by Reggie Asplund)

Unnecessary instances of alliteration for the offseason. 

With the madness of summer and the holiday season done our often busy deli has returned to the restful lull that is the winter offseason in Duluth. Though the cold can be a tad bit of a challenge, here are five things us fishmongers enjoy during the offseason.
 
1. Seasonal samplings of smoked savory sustenance.
We like to eat. You like to eat.
Free food is pretty fantastic, which is why we’re playing around with some pretty sweet sample plates in the shop. So if you’re stopping by and see some up on the case, please help yourself! Need another? We won’t judge. We’ve been sampling more than we’d care to admit.
5 things deli samples
2. Limited lines lead to lunacy and laughter.
The summer often yields to a somewhat serious full staff. Though we never take ourselves too seriously our game faces are most definitely on and ready for the never-ending crowds that often swarm our small storefront. When the crowd finally ends, we often find ourselves having, well, a bit of (read: potentially way to much) fun with the quietness this beautiful offseason provides. So please enjoy the banter, say hi, make a joke, laugh with us a bit, and enjoy the lack of a lengthy line with us. Let’s all beat the winter blues together!
3. Creative cleaner creates clever creature capture. 
Ah yes. The dreaded deep clean. Or is it?
Harrison, one or our beloved assistant managers, seasonally hides small animal figures around the shop to be scavenged for while we clean. This leads to some rather creative hiding but also a nice little reward while we clean every nook and cranny of our shop. So while you’re passing through or waiting for a sandwich, take a look around and you might just spot a few little ones awaiting their discovery.

4. Whimsical wizard wails wordy wonder. 
It’s been around for nearly three years, but it certainly deserves a replay.
 
5. Big bad bourbon breakfast beats blues. 
Yes. Bourbon for breakfast.
We aim to minimize waste (throwing food away is never enjoyable), and lately I’ve come to saving our leftover bread for a bountiful breakfast the following day. Recipe below: a modified bread pudding that’ll warm the soul, stick to your bones, and probably clog the arteries. Nevertheless, enjoy!
Pudding
3-5 cups day-old ciabatta, sourdough, or french bread, cubed in 1 inch pieces
2 tbsp melted butter
2 cups milk
3 eggs
1/3 cup sugar
1 apple
1/4-1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
Preheat over to 350º.
In a medium bowl beat together eggs, melted butter, vanilla and cinnamon. Mix in sugar until dissolved, then mix in milk, set aside. Finely chop apple, set aside.
To prepare, arrange a single layer of bread pieces in a well seasoned 9 or 10 inch cast iron pan. Sometimes I’ll lightly(!) coat it with melted butter, no more than a tablespoon. Top with a third of the apple and walnuts. Repeat. And again. Carefully pour the egg and milk mixture over the bread into the pan. This should get close to filling the pan but not quite. Feel free to top with extra cinnamon, apples or nuts… this is about winter survival right?
Bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the eggs and milk have set. I often place foil over the top for the last 15 minutes to prevent the top bread cubes from getting too dark, but keep an eye on it.
While that’s going, go get your first round of dishes done. Do ’em quick, as we’ve got a little bit more to do.
Whiskey Sauce
Yes, I did say bourbon, though just about any whiskey will do.
1 stick of butter
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup whiskey (I use Jameson or Bullet Bourbon)
In a medium saucepan, on low heat, melt the butter and sugar together.
Then add cream and whiskey. Gently mix and bring to a slow, rolling boil.
Let it slowly boil down for a good 15-20 minutes. We’re looking for a nice heavy, caramelly sauce.
When the bread pudding is done carefully drizzle sauce over it.
Let it cool for just a bit, then grab a big metal spoon and enjoy.
For extra winter warmth, serve with a batch of Northern Waters Breakfast Sausage and hot black coffee. Don’t worry, you can ski this off in no time at all.
5 things reggies pudding
Blog post written by Reggie Asplund