Equipment Envy

Paella for a crowd is made easy by renting a pan with its own gas burner & stand from Kitchen Window.

Paella for a crowd is made easy by renting a pan with its own gas burner & stand from Kitchen Window.

Did you know you can rent a proper extra-large Paella pan with its own gas range & stand from Kitchen Window in Minneapolis!  Is that cool, or what?! This pan is the size of a large garbage can lid and, in fact, is the smaller of two available for rent.

The pan is a dream — a huge, flat, shallow surface with a powerful double-ring gas burner and three-legged stand. Just think of all the greens I could saute in that thing.

A crowd-pleasing Gluten-Free entree that you can customize for vegans and carnivores alike.

Paella is a crowd-pleasing Gluten-Free entree that you can customize for vegans and carnivores alike.

I had the opportunity to play with it at a recent holiday party at which I helped. Spanish paella was the featured dish; the recipe was from The Barefoot Contessa and included beef, chicken, chorizo, mussels, shrimp and calamari. It turned out great.

Please note that paella is a gluten-free, dairy-free crowd-pleaser that can be easily customized for vegans and pescatarians too. It’s not difficult to make but is time-consuming in that you have to tend it, like risotto.

Which is exactly why the host hired me, freeing him to tend to his guests instead. This party was an instance of my “partial catering service”, which can include anything from providing food to just helping in the kitchen. I cooked the paella, made one of my chopped salads, finished other courses the host had begun, served guests and, most importantly, did all the dishes.

In conclusion, I would certainly recommend renting this pan for your next large party, with or without me in tow.

Back to paella. It’s one of dozens of satisfying gluten-free, dairy-free rice dishes that you can easily whip up with whatever is in your kitchen, just by varying the spices. I’d add beans, TVP or tempeh for a nourishing one-pot vegetarian meal. Crisp cubes of pan-fried tofu would be nice. Last month, Jamaican Jerk Rice & Beans was featured for Delivered Dish of the Week; for New Year’s Day it’s Hoppin’ John; and next month I’ll serve up Indonesian Nasi Goreng.

See previous post “Spice is the Variety of Life” for more on rice dishes from around the world.

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