“Paella” Fried Rice for IHCC

R is for Ruth and R is for Reichl… and there are lots of tasty ingredients and dishes that start with R as well.

So this week, I Heart Cooking Clubs is saying:  Gimme a R!

I took advantage of this week’s theme to peruse through my old stack of Gourmet magazines.  I grabbed the two March issues I had, one from 1999 and one from 2000.   I noticed a couple of things.  First of all, Ruth was not the editor in March of 1999; that was Gail Zweigenthal.  I ditched that copy and went to  the March 2000 edition to look for “R” recipes.

Secondly, I noticed there were fewer recipes than I remember.   I’ve commented before about the over-the-top luxury advertisements that were crammed in Gourmet‘s pages.   Along with the ads were mostly essays.  Although there was some mighty fine writing (one by Maya Angelou, no less), I was hungry for recipes.  There were actually forty-five recipes total (I counted them), but most were relegated toward the back.  I found the most practical and delicious sounding recipes from the letter sections (“Sugar and Spice” and “You Asked for It”).   The “Gourmet Every Day” section was a stand out as well.

I often say I rue the day that Gourmet went away.  I still stand by that statement but it makes me wonder if I would still be a subscriber today.

Ponderous pause.

Anywhoo, I did find a recipe that fit this week’s theme on page 142 in the “Gourmet Every Day” section:  “Paella” Fried Rice.  I picked this recipe for a couple of different reasons.  Obviously, rice begins with “r.”  I also had everything on hand to make this dish.  That it was a One-Dish Dinner was just an added bonus.

I swapped out the white rice for brown and used green onions instead of a regular onion.


“Paella” Fried Rice

From Gourmet, March 2000 (with a few substitutions by Debra)

“Remember, you absolutely cannot make delicious fried rice using freshly cooked rice! If you cook the rice yourself (a day to a week ahead), buy long-grain (Carolina) rice and follow the package directions for making drier rice.”


  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 T. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 t. dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches green onions, chopped (reserve a handful of chopped green tops for a garnish)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped*
  • 8 oz. dried Spanish chorizo, chopped into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
  • 4 c. cold cooked rice (I used brown rice.)
  • 1 1/2 t. salt
  • 1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen peas
  • 1/3 c. hulled (green) pumpkin seeds, roasted and unsalted
  • 1 c. finely chopped fresh cilantro


Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking, then cook cumin and red pepper flakes, stirring, 1 minute. Add onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring, until softened. Add chorizo and sauté over moderately high heat, stirring, until sausage begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add rice, crumbling it, and salt. Sauté, stirring, until some grains begin to turn golden, about 3 minutes. Add peas and sauté, stirring, just until peas are heated through. Remove from heat and stir in pumpkin seeds and cilantro.

*I used a bit of red bell pepper and a few yellow and orange sweet mini-bells because I had them on hand.

Yield: 4

Prep Time: 15 mins.

Cook time: 35 mins.

Total time: 50 mins.

Amazing.   Simple dish, especially if you pre-prep all the veggies.  The hardest part of the entire recipe was chopping the dried chorizo.   The aroma that wafts through the kitchen is unbelievable, from the toasting cumin and red pepper flakes to the sauteing chorizo and frying rice.   Really outstanding dish and it’s perfect for a “gourmet every day.”

Perhaps Gourmet was an icon of it’s day and a promoter of the excess of the 80s and 90s.  I still miss it.  My sister and I were talking about Gourmet  recently and she commented, “It was my first grown up magazine subscription.”  I do remember it making me feel cosmopolitan and worldly.  Each month I would find something in it’s pages I thought I could make and wow the eater.  Most of the time, that worked out well.

I still rue the day….

There’s just a few more Ruth themes left for I Heart Cooking Clubs.  Come join in!

  • March 11th – 17th: Monthly Featured Ingredient/Dish Challenge- Cabbage!
  • March 18th – 24th: March Potluck!
  • March 25th – 31st: Goodbye Ruth!


14 comments to “Paella” Fried Rice for IHCC

  • Yummy! And it reminds me of Chinese fried rice with sausage!

  • Pam

    Oh, I bet this is delicious with the chorizo! Simple and good works for me. I wish I had kept all my old Gourmet magazine issues! It was the best!

  • You’ve sold me the “paella” fried rice from your description of the cooking of this dish: from the toasting cumin and red pepper flakes to the sauteing chorizo and frying rice. I could imagine how good it tastes.

  • I love Ruth Reichl and loved _Gourmet_ but she took the magazine in a direction that even though I thoroughly enjoyed reading at the time, I also wondered about. But I’d subscribe today — although they didn’t have as many recipes as most food magazines (and in truth, they never did before Ruth either, so nothing new there; at least doing the time I subscribed, which dates back to the late 1970s) — it was always so much fun to read. And the recipes they DID have worked, and were always good. Anyway, this is such a neat dish — really nice. Thanks.

    • I’m sure I would still be a subscriber. I am going to research my older ones to see if there was a markedly change in direction with the editor change.

  • Mae

    I did keep a small stack of Gourmet mags from the 80s and early 90s when I subscribed. But I got tired of the pretensions, which unfortunately Ruth Reichl didn’t change — in fact maybe made them moreso. It was definitely a magazine for people with a certain attitude! I do regret that they took everything offline when they went down. It would be interesting to browse the older issues. If I were really gung-ho, I could consult the University library here, which has a complete set (except for one issue from the early 1940s, which no one has ever seen).

    best… mae at maefood.blogspot.com

  • Kim

    This is stunning! I staring rather longingly at the screen, craving the chunks of chorizo with a bit of the rice. Love all the color from the veggies. This is certainly a special dish. One that would perfect for entertaining!

  • now you are making me really sad that I sold those Gourmet magazines! I think I kept a few but I have no idea where I put them. I know what I’m going to go on the hunt for tomorrow. This paella rice looks delicious. Good eye for picking out such a great recipe from so many.