Posted on

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
Posted on

5 things – What’s New in Mail Order

5 things coming to you from the desk of the Mail Order Director this week. I’ve had an amazing year in 2017 at the Smokehaus. From learning the ropes from my dear colleagues Flo and Mary (and the whole staff really), to being given the autonomy to research and implement new systems and processes to grow this department, to learning that you can have a job that is actually fun, challenging and creative but not all consuming. What a find, I think. I made it through the busy month of December, and now there’s time to breath and dream and scheme (as they say around here) on all the fun things we can do for our amazing customers this year.

For starters – here’s 5 recent additions to our Mail Order website (in case you missed them):

#1 Country Pate (we know it’s not for everyone, but once you try it, you may get hooked) is now offered in 3 sizes: 1/3 pound, 1/2 pound, whole loaf. The 1/3 pound is obviously the cutest, coming in the small container we affectionately call “the casket.”

country pate

#2 We’re working on amping up the grocery items available to ship. Many have asked for them, and more to come. So far, you can purchase our Hausmade Kimchi, Kraut and Crayo. Take your home sandwich-making up 10 notches with these badass items.

crayo sandwich

#3 Cheese and crackers. It’s as simple as that. You can now add Cheese + Crackers to your order for $10. Just need the crackers? You can do that too. And you know you want to add them, because it’s the easiest way to enjoy so many of our products, and the fastest way to get a party started.

cheese and crackers

#4 We have a new section on our website for “Seasonal” items/gift boxes! With our plans to offer new pairings, seasonal offerings, and promotional discounts, you can find all those good things now in the Seasonal section. In case you missed it, right now, we have super awesome Super Bowl snack packs, and a Valentine’s Day box for sweethearts everywhere.

football snacks

#5 And we’ll be working on a great many more things this year! Be on the lookout for Ham Steaks (in case you don’t want the whole 7 pounder), Portioned Porkettas (dinner for 2?), and Atlantic Salmon Boxes including 4 pieces of a single flavor (i.e. we know those purists love the Traditional Style!).

the perfectionist

Please keep eating our food, and staying in touch with us 🙂 We love to hear from you, and we love to feed you.

Posted on

5 Things – Vol. 15

5 Things Again?!

Of course!

Why Not?

OK!

 

1.

PUT IT IN A BOX

December happened and mail order did it once again. We sent over 1800 boxes full of delicious food to really cool people all over the country! It was lovely, chaotic, overwhelming, and appreciated. Take that and wrap it in an insulated box! Holy cow, pig or fish.

 

2.

WHO WANTS TO GET NUTS!?

Our office is small and the portion that gets used for mail order is even smaller. It often felt like our packing materials were going to quite literally box us in! To make matters worse we trapped Jeremy, took Celestine for a ride and covered Joe in peanuts multiple times. Anybody want to get nuts? Let’s get nuts!

 

3.

BREAKING RECORDS AND TAKING ORDERS

Friday was our busiest day ever and it’s no surprise that It was completely bonkers! The line weaved its way through DeWitt Seitz, People waited patiently and our staff crushed it! Thank you to all everyone involved.

 

4.

Nos Fumant Aliquid

Last week our hardworking, dedicated, and talented crew smoked over 1 ton of fish. Enough said…

 

5.

ONE REMARKABLE RIDE

The final hours are nearing for our sibling up on Woodland Avenue, Northern Waters Restaurant. The doors close for good on New Years Eve. Saturday will be the last dinner service and Sunday will be the last brunch. So, please stop by and enjoy your favorite Northern Waters Restaurant dishes. We hope you lift a glass and share a laugh with us. It’s been a remarkable ride!

 

BONUS 5

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE WEATHER AGAIN

As locals know, this weeks weather has been straight up frigid. The bright side is everything looks so beautiful when it’s this cold. Every smoke stack is so defined and the sea smoke on the lake is intensely stunning. Bundle up and get out there!

 

See you next week folks!

-Stephen Pestalozzi Creative Dept. / Northern Waters Smokehaus

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on

5 Things To Do With Porketta

porketta

5 Ways to Cook Smokehaus Porketta

So, you’ve got your beautiful hand-rolled slab of heaven – now what? There are many ways to cook Porketta, including a straightforward, roast til it’s hot approach. But for the creative-hearted and culinarily curious we have assembled a short list of preparations for your dining pleasure.

 

 

  1. Low and Slow: Roast Porketta at 325, covered and doused with a cup or so of liquid (white wine, lager, chicken stock or even a mild fruit juice such as apple will do). Keep it covered for the first hour and a half, then uncover and continue to roast until fall-apart tender (maybe another 45-60 minutes). When ready, take the roast out, let it sit for 5 minutes, and then shred like your life depends on it. You can use forks, tongs, or even gloved hands (but be careful – it will be hot!). Eat the whole delicious mixture over mashed potatoes, with your favorite pasta, or on a hard roll.
  2. Grill it: Because the Porketta is fully cooked, you need not worry about finessing your fire too much. You can reheat the Porketta in your oven at a higher temperature (say, 375) and when it because hot to the touch, transfer to a hot grill to crisp up the exterior crust. The results will be crunchy, smoky, and oh-so-meaty.
  3. Cute it Up: Cube it up? Cube your Porketta by cutting it into ½ inch chunks. Sprinkle with paprika and gently fry on a medium-heat skillet until the sides are crispy. Skewer them with other bite-sized cubed items like potatoes, cocktail onions, fennel, or sweet peppers (or our favorite – all of the above!). Serve on your holiday menu, or as an appetizer for a dinner party, or as a very high class midnight snack.
  4. Take it to the Club: Make an incredibly savory club sandwich by layering thin slicesof Porketta, right out of the package (it’s fully cooked, you know) with shaved fennel, sundried tomatoes, and crispy pancetta, and lemon basil mayonnaise (you can just amp up your Hellman’s with a dusting of lemon zest and handful of shredded basil or you can make your own). You can serve it on stirato or focaccia, but if you’re feeling sinister might we recommend a triple-decker with slices of your local grocery store’s most pillowy version of Italian bread, toasted.
  5.  Go Full Holiday Roast: Place your Porketta on a rack in a large roasting pan, uncovered. Begin roasting the Porketta at 375 while you prepare your other ingredients. Wash fingerling potatoes or quarter them, quarter fennel, rutabaga, and or sweet potatoes. Toss all with olive oil and light salt (the Porketta is going to help flavor them all) and arrange them in the now-hot roaster when they’re ready (make sure you take the roaster out of the oven to accomplish this – safety first!). Cook all until vegetables are soft – around 45 minutes to an hour. Serve with something green, like Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, or green beans. Buon appetito!

 

 

porketta

Posted on

5 things – volume 14

Sunday

#1. Smokehaus Party takes place. Smokehausers do like a party. Food and drinks are in abundance, and people laugh and sing and frolic into the wee hours. It’s good for camaraderie, it’s a good release this time of year, and the we count the clock until next time.

Monday

#2. We started to release recipe cards in our mail order boxes! These little beauties feature our products and we’ll be making more and more as the months carry on. Look for one in your next shipment from us!

Tuesday

#3. Our website gets a few tweaks. In preparation for brand new photography, we’ve altered the look of our mail order section to showcase our new photos. Release date is very soon, so keep your eyes peeled. These new shots will knock your socks off!

Wednesday

#4. We slice 59 # of Smoked Berkshire Bacon, and add it to our growing stash for the holiday season. Take a look at some fun facts compiled by Mental Floss last year.

Thursday/Friday

#5. We gear up for none-other-than, Cyber Monday! It’s our first go at the cyber-space madness online shopping day. We think we’ve got a cute little offer, and we hope our amazing customers will take advantage. Cyber space immediately equated to Pigs in Space for us. And so our cute little campaign was born.

pigs in space

 

Posted on

5 Things- Volume 12

We are nearing the end of the year, we are dusting off our ugly Christmas sweaters and we are making spare room for all of the seconds, thirds and fourths we will be having at our family gatherings. But before we reach that magical time of the year, we’re keeping our dancing shoes on and we will continue to party and enjoy the amazing camaraderie that exists and the Smokehaus.

So with that said, let’s cue the Adventure Time theme song (it’s okay if you don’t know it you can sing along).
“Adventure Time,
C’mon grab your friends,
We’re going to very distant lands.
With Jake [the smoker] and
Finn [the sandwich],
The fun will never end,
It’s Adventure Time!” 

This week was full of adventure:
1- THE FLOOD

At 6:30AM on Friday our basement started flooding. Water was flowing in from every crack it could find but our wonderful crew hiked up there pants, changed their plans and grabbed a squeegee. Friday felt like the scene in Hercules where he cuts the dragon’s head off and three heads grow back. Shouts to our wonderful team for stepping in and helping us stay afloat!

 

This week was also full of spoooooky tiiiimess:

2-Rocky Horror Red Mountain ft Chelsy from Vikre!

Our friend Steve Sola is letting us use this video that he took of a local favorite band in Duluth, Red Mountain. Our delivery-daredevil and basement-badass Jeremy Ehlert SLAYS guitar in this band. You can’t see him but you can hear him shred. (We love you, Jeremy!)

Not pictured but also important to mention: Ned’s band Alamode & Jacob’s band the Social Disaster also played on Halloween night at the Rex Bar. Did we mention they were all born on October 11st!? 

 

Have you hugged a carnivore this week?
3- Halloween in the shop 

Harrison Cross is the man of many costumes. He’s known for killer dance moves, exceptional puns, and going all out on Holiday extravaganza. This year he really raised the bar on his costume game and expressed his carnivore lifestyle more visually and larger than life. We also had a visitor from the New Yorker giving us advice on what kind of beans to purchase for our Chemex (Thanks, Cam)!

This week was full of cute liver caskets!

4- Are you a be-liver? 

Extra! Extra! Find these in the Grab-n-Go in our Deli soon! We will be packaging these cuties up and selling them 1/3 lb for your party convenience. Country Paté lovers unite!

And every week we’re all about Awesome Burgers

5- Can you say onion rings? 

The Restaurant does burger Mondays and this weeks special burger looked like a dang good time. Stop in next Monday to see what chef James cooked up for ya!

Posted on

5 Things- Vol. 11

HAPPY ALMOST HALLOWEEN!

We hope you’re also listening to Werewolf Bar Mitzvah over and over again. If not… maybe you should start??

5 Things: Here We Go

 

1- It’s test time!

We sent out several of our Delivery, Catering and Mail Order and Deli manager(s) to get their Serve Safe Certification on Monday, October 23rd. Here are some highlights from Dungeon-Master and Iron Man, Harry-boi.

Food Safety Class Hour One:
Things I’ve Learned:
-Jeff, our instructor, could shoot a wing off a jet in an A-10 Warthog.
-Allergies are more common now because we’re “…not eating enough boogers”.
-Scrapbooking is for “gals”.

Hmmm… We do not suggest boogers as a source of protein. But to each their own? (read: ew).

2-Purchasing

Mamma Kath is teaching Deli Manager TK how to be the master of inventory. Every week we receive orders from many local and regional vendors. It takes a great finesse and extraordinary organizational skills to keep all departments orders on track. Orders come in, they are put away, laughs are shared with our great delivery drivers and snacks are had.

Shout out to Jodi from Classic Provisions for being the kindest delivery driver ever. 

3- Mail Order Meat Madness

Once the Holidays season begins it’s pretty hard to stay ahead of the game without feeling a little frantic. So we start getting ready earlier in the year in order to be able to send out our 2,000 boxes around Thanksgiving and Christmas season. This week we sliced 63 lb of Turkey, 49 lb of Andouille, 46 lb of Pancetta and 74 lb of Pork Loin!!!!

4- NEW STICKERS!!!

After probably 10+ years of having our oval stickers we upgraded to these sharp circle cuties! Thanks, Stephen!

5- LOOK MORTY

While our oval stickers where in absence, we used a lot of different stickers to keep your fish, meats, salumi and sandwiches from escaping the butcher paper. It was a busy and confusing summer. Cajun Finns were getting marked “German Brats”, “Italian Style” and/or “Whitefish Sausage” and many other items were also (for a bit) mislabeled. So after dealing with weeks and weeks of back and forth emailing with our sticker vendor, we ordered some “just in case” green circles from Uline.
Oh the fun that has been had with these simple and amazing vessels for creativity. Let’s just say someone around the Smokehaus has been drawing Ricks (from the Adult Swim Show Rick & Morty) all over the place.  We hope some of you enjoy the “LOOK MORTY I TURNED MYSELF INTO A DOOR”. 

Posted on

5 Things – Vol. 10

What a week! Only 5 things? JUST 5 things? Ok. Have it your way. Here we go:

1 / Local Food Fare
 Stephen and I went to The College of Saint Scholastica last Friday for their first ever Local Food Day representing Northern Waters Restaurant. It was THE BEST time!   We hit ’em with some S.W.A.G. (Stuff We All Get), served maple sambal ribs with kimchi and an assortment of sandwich samples while those ravenous collegians lost their damn minds! We made sure to collect some email addresses to offer them further deals in the future before they went completely bonkers. Thanks to our pal Jordon Moses for setting the event up!

 

 2 / Meat & Greet
Smokehausers Flo and TK are the principals at Prove Gallery in Duluth; a fantastic and inclusive pillar of the arts community here, and 10/18 brought their annual Meat Raffle Fundraiser! Not familiar with the Meat Raffle concept? Buy one of 12 chances for a cut of meat and wait for the wheel to land on your number. If it does, you get meated handsomely! Prove managed to get Pete and Sam from NW Restaurant to emcee and sell tickets respectively, while Ned from the Smokehaus DJ’d. Plenty of our coworkers from both the restaurant and the Smokehaus got in on the gamble for meat as well as a pretty great silent auction. The whole event was a huge success and also just a lot of fun.

 

3 / Photo Frenzy
 Stephen and Flo continue to work on photographing our many products in preparation for mail order season, and the composition of these photos has really been coming together beautifully. So beautifully, in fact, that it drives our thoughts towards doing a cookbook. Seriously, wouldn’t that be fantastic?

 

4 / Pop Up Restaurant at Hoops!
At Northern Waters Restaurant, we always try to keep it poppin’; the beautiful plates we send out, our chic decor, actual delicious soda pop… It’s a thing for us, ok? So how excited are we that our pals at Hoops Brewing have invited us to come and do a pop up restaurant at their place? Pretty dang excited to say the least. We haven’t firmed up a date yet, but look for that coming soon. Pop in and say hi! Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

 

5 / Listen Up!
 Jams! Not the kind you eat with your mouth, but the kind you eat with your ears! It’s called ‘listening’! Up at the restaurant, we begin our days by sweeping, mopping and kicking out the sweetest jams possible. Afrobeat, DJ Earl and Steely Dan have been in heavy rotation recently, but it’s really anyone’s guess as to what will get heavy play next. We think that this whole ‘eareating’ thing is going to catch on big-time.
Posted on

5 things – volume 9

5 Things – Volume 9

Here’s some stuff that occurred this past week at The Smokehaus. In chronological order this time:

#1. Sunday night Staff Meeting! We crammed ourselves into the common area of our small office. We ran down the agenda, we chatted and laughed. No shortage of laughter in this place. Then the newbies got their height marked on the wall. It’s tradition. And it’s a mirror into the past of all the beautiful humans that have made their mark (hehe) on the Smokehaus in years past.

 

#2. Order Up! So…. There’s been some confusion. When sandwiches are shouted out to shop patrons they are set under a sign that once read “Pickup.” This was, however, not where one would pick up an order they called in to our Pickup department. Pickup patrons can conveniently skip the line and our Pickup staff will bring your order right out to you in the alley way on the North side of the building. That all makes sense, right?! ☺ So, we think our new signage might help alleviate some of the confusion… what do you think? More custom lettering by the one and only Flo.

 

#3. The titan among sandwiches is released on the nation. It’s been a long time coming, but as we dipped our toes into the trending world of Sandwich Kits it was only natural that our best-selling sandwich be one of the competitors. You can read more about how this sandwich came into being in this post. If you ever find yourself staring longingly in the direction of the Smokehaus, you know how to bring it home now. Get ‘yer Cajun Finns sent to your doorstep.

#4. PIXIES! A favorite band for at least 2 Smokehausers (Mary and Nick C), the Pixies were in St Paul this week and Steve-man, Mary, Greg, and Jeremy all went down to see them. They were awesome! They played everything from Caribou to Motorway to Roswell. After the show, we headed to a bar around the corner and were utterly amazed to see Black Francis and Joey Santiago in the next booth over. Magic!

 

#5. Birthdays and a tweet. A few fine folks celebrated birthdays this week including Eric, Jeremy, Jacob, and Ned. If you’re a local you probably know and love them. Plus extra love from the fine peeps behind the Homegrown twitter handle. Well that was nice! Thanks @dhgmf

Posted on

5 things – volume 8

5 Things: Volume 8

Hi people of the internet. Here’s 5 things that happened at the Smokehaus and our beloved Restaurant this week.

chicken sandwich

#1. Specials!
We perfected the new Wednesday special up on Woodland Ave (Northern Waters Restaurant). Our new fried chicken sammy is to die for! Things that may or may not be featured on this special: buttermilk brined, hays-tenderized chicken breast, Franks hot sauce, cracker breading, local brioche buns from Lake Superior Bakehouse, Smokehaus bacon, avocado, top secret spice blend and/or a rotating mix of toppings for new and delicious creations every week. Every Wednesday!

gourds

#2. Fall Decor
Our shop is pretty cute, but there’s always room for more cuteness! Hannah brought in a few gourds to decorate the shop and help us feel ok about summer being over. Hopefully she brings in a snowman when winter hits… (did you know the record low for December in Duluth is -27 degrees?)

hockey skates

#3. Is anyone missing a pair of hockey skates?
A random box showed up the other day. Its labeling was pretty unclear, it was addressed to us, but it had multiple labels and we were a little hesitant to open it. But our curiosity always gets the better of us. Turns out it was hockey skates, belonging to someone who has really small feet and no connection to the Smokehaus. Weeeeiiiird. Needless to say, we had to discuss this event and all its infinite possibilities for several minutes that day….

wall of boxes

#4. Holiday Season looms over us like a wall of boxes (literally).
October means we’re gearing up for Mail Order’s peak Holiday Season which happens every December. For three glorious and also insane weeks our Mail Order elves work nearly round the clock to make food, package food, and ship food to thousands of customers around the country. Fun fact: after Minnesota, California is where we sent the most boxes to last year. Hello West Coast! So… this week a new seasonal employee started in our Mail Order dept – welcome Zac! He’s the first of many elves who will be joining the team to pack, pack, pack their little hearts out. During peak time, it’s one person’s job just to make boxes – not kidding.

5 things gooseberry jam

#5. The perks of being an employee of the Smokehaus.
When there’s leftover food, employee’s enjoy. This week folks in the shop spread layers and layers of Mary’s dreamy gooseberry jam on our Hausmade rye. Mary’s recipe uses five-spice. You know how she does.

Post was co-created by Stephen Pestalozzi.