With ten pounds of paddlefish to smoke, I was quickly running out of options. The Sportsman’s Cannery in Emeryville closed long ago. The phone at Scandinavian Smokehouse in San Francisco has been disconnected. Red River Smoke House in Princeton-by-the-sea is no longer, although Blue Ocean may take its place. Which left Creekside Smokehouse in El Granada by Half Moon Bay.
Located next to a small creek with an inviting lawn, the smokehouse is run by Dave and Teri, who are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. In addition to custom smoking, they offer a variety of items. Cold smoked salmon is their most popular product. A sample of their “rich jerky strips”, made from boneless rib-meat that was brined and then cured with brown sugar, was decadently rich, and dripped with salmon oil. Teri called it “velvet fog” and Dave suggested dipping it in chocolate. As much as I enjoyed the jerky, I’m not sure I would enjoy that combination.
Besides salmon, they also offer sturgeon, yellowfin tuna, halibut, and albacore—Teri’s favorite, since she enjoys its meaty texture. Their sturgeon is another meaty choice. Teri said that smoked sturgeon is a favorite of their Russian customers. Another favorite is their crab dip, which is available only during the holidays. Nothing smoked, just quality ingredients highlighted by Dungeness crab. I can’t wait to try it. They also sell smoked trout and eel, but these are processed elsewhere. Flat bread and crackers are also available.
Besides seafood, they smoke a variety of dairy products, including cheese and butter. The butter is a new product, and I tried two varieties. One was intensely smokey, and would be perfect to finish a sauce or a dish. The other was milder, and could be used more liberally. Both were unique and delicious. I sampled a number of the cheeses, and decided on the Parmesan (DiGiorno). I grated the cheese over a plate of spaghetti, and enriched with a tab of smoked butter, the combination was simple and terrific.
The paddlefish, both cold and hot-smoked, was amazing. Alongside a Greek salad, Irish brown bread, Russian-style sour cream, and a glass of kvas, the fish was the star of a satisfying, multicultural meal. It’s good to live in the Richmond District.
280 Ave. Alhambra
El Granada, CA 94018