Some restaurants start out as food trucks. In the case of Paella Police, a food truck is used to extend the reach of an established restaurant.
The new mobile catering operation was smoothly launched about two weeks ago by employees of Stand Eat Drink Hospitality, Spanish restaurant operators MOVIDA and Hotel Madrid. And it is now in full swing, with the aim of introducing the public to the flavors of Spain in a modern and accessible way.
But first, let’s talk about paella.
The Spanish national dish
Paella, now Spain’s national dish, has a long history. Originally created as a dish to feed workers in the orchards and vegetable fields of the countryside surrounding Valencia, an area known for its rice production (a crop brought to Spain by people from the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East and North Africa). It initially consisted of simple, fresh ingredients like tomatoes, beans, rabbit, chicken, and even snails, which were simmered in a large skillet with rice to create a hearty midday meal. In fact, the dish takes its name from the pan (paella) that was used to cook the rice dish.
Over time, the dish spread across the country, eventually resulting in countless variations, including the very non-traditional addition of seafood. The word paella has also become a wide-ranging term that can describe a number of rice dishes (arroces) across Spain and the world.
Traditional paella is cooked in large batches in a large, shallow pan, allowing the simmering process to take place without the aid of stirring. The process results in the formation of socarrat, a crispy layer of toasted rice that is now an integral part of the dish.
Of course, now you’re probably wondering how to turn a large-scale casserole dish into something that can be served quickly in a food truck. Yeah, we understand. So we asked SED how they did it.
âWe worked really hard to create flavorful components that could be put together to mimic the flavor of an authentic paella,â says Sean Wille of SED. together – it’s going to be good. In the end, the three variations are comfortable and warm and adapt to a quick lunch. ”
And yes, you will even get a bit of socarrat. The effect is a little more subtle than in a traditionally prepared paella; However, the rice is deliberately cooked over high heat, so every dish comes with a hint of that toasted, crispy texture.
The Paella Police menu has three options: paella bucket (paella served in a Chinese-style take-out container), paella salad (served over greens), and a paella burrito (served in a tortilla). Each costs $ 9 and has a DIY component. Each guest receives an order form on which he chooses the components of his dish.
Each dish comes with a choice of three proteins or vegetables, including clams, mussels, shrimp, salmon, chicken, chorizo, tofu, eggs, carrots, white beans, corn, peas, squash or Spanish olives.
From there, guests choose their own textured topping (fried onions, crushed chips, or gluten-free crushed crackers) as well as a sauce. Sauce options include spicy aioli, smoked pepper coulis, herb and citrus vinaigrette, mild tangy chili sauce, or lemon garlic aioli.
Additional ingredients can be added (at an additional cost) to further personalize the dish. And, Paella Police offers a loyalty card that entitles loyal customers to a free dish for the five they buy.
Get your paella bucket
Currently, the Paella Police make regular appearances at various locations around the city, including Schlitz Park on Tuesdays, the US Bank Building on Thursdays, and Red Arrow Park on Fridays. But you can watch them Facebook, Instagram and Twitter feed for further updates.
Paella Police is also available as a catering operation for weddings, corporate meetings and parties. The truck has a flexible catering menu that can include personalized paella demonstrations using full-size paella pans and special burners, appetizers, or more traditional menu items. For more information visit paellapolice.com.