Paul Harrison is a Brooklyn-based recipe developer and professional whiskey fan who penned possibly the greatest recipe for taco meat, ever. We're running his recipes all week long, particularly since this latest batch was inspired by the abundance of Los Angeles–style Mexican food around his alma mater, USC, and shot in our own Test Kitchen. That is some solidly easy tailgating chow. We respect a man with priorities.
One of my measuring sticks for Mexican restaurants outside of Southern California is the rice, and it’s amazing how many places fail this simple test (the test is unnecessary in Southern Cal; everyone passes pretty much). I just want some rice with some appetizing color and a ton of flavor. Lucky for me, my mom taught me how to make the good stuff back in the day (thanks Mom!). This is a pretty basic recipe — if you want to start tinkering with add-ins like chopped jalapeños, lime juice and chipotle sauce, feel free to experiment.
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup long-grain white rice
- 2 1/4 cups chicken stock
- 2 level tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Heat the butter in a medium pot until foamy, then cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until soft and turning translucent.
- Add the rice and stir around to coat in butter.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil, then cover and take it down to a low simmer.
- Cook for about twenty minutes, then fluff the rice thoroughly with a fork and replace the lid until ready to serve.
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