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What We Eat

For all the years leading up to my time at the Smokehaus, I ate the Cajun Finn. Exclusively. My only deviation was if I was lucky enough to show up on Taco Tuesday. Once I started working here, I knew I needed to explore the very expansive menu for no other reason than product knowledge. While doing research under the cloak of product testing, I learned what I’ve always known: we make some ridiculously good food. If you’ve ever come to the deli and asked the person working what their favorite sandwich is and saw them hesitate, hmm and haw… it’s for good reason. There’s much to choose from and rarely is it a bad choice. While I still love The Finn, I have yet to go wrong deviating from my old standby.

I took an informal poll of some staff (okay, I drug them aside and demanded an answer), veteran and new-ish and everything in-between. Here are the results: 

Nic P: “Italiensk. I love it because it features our salamundos (large diameter salamis) and the mortadella which are some of my favorite products we make here.”

Cho: “Probably The ‘06 because I really like our bison pastrami. Our meats are so quality and you can really taste it in the pastrami. And who doesn’t love a toasty sandwich?”

Tyler: “The ‘06 or a Phoebe for a good food coma. If I need to go light: Sitka Sushi for the win. Or, a pizza on a naan”.  Author’s notes: I had to inform Tyler that pizza, indeed, is not on our menu. No, really, we can’t make you a pizza.

Emma: “Spring Roll on a Square (vegan mode!). I love the pickled veg, it has such a unique flavor profile. The almonds? DEVINE. So good! They give it the crunch. God bless Patricia.” Author’s Note: Our Spring Roll used to be served on a Naan (thus, the “roll”) but moving forward it will be served on a square ciabatta which makes this solid vegetarian option a vegan sandwich too!

Cal: “D-Luxxx with Turkey. Always the turkey. Or, a Cold Turkey or, a Cedar’s Secret. The turkey is so good.” Author’s note: Cal’s been working here since he’s been in the womb. So if he says the turkey’s good, it’s good.

Nicholas Matthew Ruszat Klee: “For years I’ve ordered the Cold Turkey, now I make the Cold Turkey, thus the circle of life continues.” When asked what he would do if we were out of Crayo, a critical ingredient in this second best selling sandwich, Nick responded, mournfully, that he “would simply weep”. 

Taylor P: “Big Dipper. The porketta here is so good and it feels like the regional favorite that I grew up eating is less common. Plus, people generally wouldn’t think of making a sandwich with this as the key ingredient.”

Brian: “Hedonist or Bahn Faux Mi. Both feature the country pâté which has such a great, complex flavor. I see people who have worked here for a very long time regularly eat the country pâté which is an indicator that a product is good and has lasting power.”

Justin: “Bahn Faux Mi.” Author’s notes: Justin is a man of few words.

Ben: “I worked in the pizza industry for a long time. When I go to a place that specializes in pizza, I get the most basic thing they have, a cheese pizza. If their crust and their sauce aren’t great, their pizza won’t be great. So here, I would recommend some of our most basic sandwiches like the The Northern Bagel with Smoked Salmon or Gravlax. You’ll get to taste what we do best and guaranteed, it will be delicious.”

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Smoked Fish Cheesecake

This savory cheesecake is perfect when sliced relatively thin as an appetizer, but also works well for lunch or even as an entrée. Fans of our Northern Bagel will be familiar with its creamy, lightly salmony flavors.

Crust:

  • 4 Tbsp melted butter
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 ½ cups crushed bagel chips

Filling:

  • 24oz cream cheese (bring to room temperature before mixing)
  • 4oz sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 10oz (.625lbs) smoked fish, de-boned and flaked (we suggest 8oz smoked lake trout and 2oz smoked sockeye salmon [for color], but any combination will do)
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped chives

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a small bowl, combine melted butter, bagel chips, and egg white. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven to cool, and adjust the oven to 250°F.

3. In a mixing bowl fitted with a paddle attachment, blend the cheese, sour cream, cornstarch, and salt until combined. Mix in the eggs. Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the smoked fish and chives. Pour mixture into the cooled crust.

4. Bake at 250°F for 1 hour, then turn off the oven and let sit in the oven (don’t open the door during this process) for an additional hour. Cool on a rack for at least 4 hours. Carefully un-mold (you may want to run a knife around the edge first) and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Tip: The flavor of the smoked salmon is more apparent as the cheesecake warms up after refrigeration, so you may wish to allow your slices to warm up a little before serving.

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Have a Gift Card?

For a little over a year now, we moved to a pick-up and delivery model here at our humble little deli. It has had its challenges and we work to stay in front of those as fast as you can say “One Cajun Finn, please”.  Many of you have wondered, “Can I use this gift card burning a hole in my pocket if I can’t come inside the deli?” YES! Yes you can!!

But first, let’s determine what KIND of gift card you have. We have two varieties here at The Smokehaus: the online “gift card” (really an online coupon) and physical gift cards (see picture below.)

The online gift cards are for orders placed in our nationwide shipping mail order department. Sending someone from out-of-town a little love from MN? This is where you would use this. The second species of gift card is a physical card that you would normally use at the register… normally. Except that things aren’t the normal we used to know.

To order for pick-up or delivery using your gift card:

  1. Call us to place your order. (218-724-7307, Option 1)
  2. Let us know you’re paying with a gift card and take note of the numbers on the back because they are extra tiny. We’ll ask you for those numbers to process the payment.

Need a last minute gift for your friend that you haven’t seen a year… because Covid? We’ve got you! Call us on the phone and we’ll treat that gift card just like a sandwich order and coordinate with you on a pick up here at the deli.

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Hot Honey

Today’s post comes from Brian, a long time Smokehaus employee of nearly seven years. Head down to the prep room and you’ll find Brian expertly preparing haus-made ingredients for our sandwiches with his eyes practically closed, he knows it so well. An inquisitive character, come at Brian with any number of of topics and leave the prep room with your brain hurting because of the knowledge dropped. Outside of the Smokehaus, you can find Brian dabbling in sound design, reading voraciously, hanging with his kids, and of course, fermenting things.

Here at the Smokehaus, we are constantly looking for ways to improve the techniques and processes to bring the best product to our community and customers around the country. We also like to experiment at home. I love to make homemade hot sauces.

One of the key components of hot sauce is how to extract the heat from the peppers and control how hot a sauce is going to be. I had struggled to have a consistent outcome until my co-worker Brandt (our lead Smoker) suggested I learn the process of making hot honey. Experimenting with hot honey has taught me how much heat to expect at the end of this process as I experiment with different peppers. This will help me create better hot sauces. I now use hot honey instead of brown sugar for my sweetener while cooking. So without further ado, here is a simple breakdown of how to make hot honey:


Step One: Take a large pot and fill it a little over halfway with water. Bring to a rolling boil. 

Another one of Brian’s talents? Illustration!

Step Two: Place a metal bowl containing the desired amount of honey over the boiling water.

Step Three: Drop in a few sliced peppers of your choosing into the honey. Taste as it releases its capsaicin until you reach your desired heat level. Then pull the pepper out and let the honey cool. Now you have hot honey and can add it to your cooking!

Try it on variety of foods. It’s a great addition to any dish that you want a hit of sweet heat! Here are a few suggestions:

  • Cheese boards
  • Curries
  • BBQ Sauces
  • Chicken wings
  • Homemade vinaigrette dressing
  • Marinades