If you’re craving some saffron-scented paella — and want to put your cooking skills to the test — Teleferic Barcelona makes it easy to do so now.
The Spanish restaurant, with locations in Walnut Creek and Palo Alto, is now selling paella kits that you can pick up or get delivered.
Choose from kits that serve 2 or 4, and are designed to make traditional paella, squid ink paella or fideua. The kits are priced from $43 to $72.
The Palo Alto restaurant in the Town & Country Village, which has its own little merkat or market attached, invited me last week to test drive a kit on the house.
The $48 basic paella kit comes with a paella pan, bomba rice, olive oil, Spanish crushed peppers, paella seasoning mix, and the restaurant’s own jarred sofrito. Just add your own stock or broth, as well as vegetables and protein.
The kit comes with a rudimentary recipe. If you’ve never made paella before, you might need to look online for more specific directions. For instance, the restaurant’s recipe tells you to add broth, but not how much. I found that for 1 cup of rice, I needed about 2 1/2 cups broth. Basically, just monitor the pan as it cooks: If it looks like the broth is nearly evaporated but the rice is still not fully cooked, just add a tad more broth to let it cook further.
I customized my paella with green garlic, chopped chicken thigh meat, broccolini, and a few slivers of jarred red peppers.
You’ll have enough uncooked bomba rice and seasoning mix leftover to make another paella, too.
It makes for a fun cooking project — especially if you’re over making your umpteenth loaf of sourdough at this point.
Of course, you could also take the easier route and just order one of the restaurant’s cooked paellas to-go for pick up or delivery.
The restaurant was kind enough to let me try gratis the lobster paella for two ($46) that’s also done up with shrimp and cuttlefish. The whole pan comes packed in a pizza-like cardboard box for easy carry-out. Inside is a small container of aioli and a lemon wedge to finish the dish before serving.
If you choose to have your paella in the pan, a $20 deposit is added to the price, which is refunded when you return the pan. Otherwise, you can have the paella scooped into a box instead for no additional charge. It doesn’t have quite the visual appeal, but it will taste the same.
Even at room temperature by the time I drove it home, the rice was still moist, fluffy, and satisfying. The thin slices of lobster, enough for three per person, gave it an air of specialness.
The 32-ounce mason jar of red sangria ($28) that the restaurant included on the house was enough for four very generous servings. It was already redolent of cinnamon and fruit, but even more so once you added the included garnishes of cinnamon sticks, fresh blueberries, and orange and lemon slices.
It makes for one way to get a taste of Spain these days from the safety and comfort of your own home.