Muscle Sport Magazine

You’ll Only Miss the Jazz Music When Preparing This Louisiana-style Dish


Perhaps more than anywhere else in the world, Louisiana’s cuisine is a result of its geography, its history, its culture and its people. The menus found in restaurants are a snapshot of history books.

Dining in Louisiana is more than an enjoyable experience. It is a cultural and historical experience. Some of the most delicious and popular American meals have their origins in Louisiana. Southern cuisine happened to blend flavors that came from many parts of the world and have been evolving for more than two centuries.

A melting pot of cultures

Over the years, colonial French cuisine fused with others from Africa, Spain, Italy, Caribbean countries, and of course, native Americans.

That happened in music as well, so the jazz tunes grew up alongside deeply seasoned and spicy stews and dishes.

The people of Louisiana place enormous importance on food. Not only does it play a very important role in their daily life, but also in their culture. Many festivals are held each year in Louisiana, many of which have food as their centerpiece.

The most dynamic city in the state of Louisiana, New Orleans, is home of an unparalleled gastronomic treasure, a legendary cuisine revered by writers such as Mark Twain. Undoubtedly a melting pot of cultures and traditions has given rise to a festival of flavors, aromas and texture for all palates.

New Orleans’ location along the Mississippi and its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico have also given a unique prominence to fish and seafood, both fresh and saltwater. Over three centuries the cuisine changed and adapted to the tastes and needs of the groups that settled in Louisiana.

Rice and Spanish influence in Louisiana Cuisine

The Spanish influence shows up in the use of peppers, the importance of rice, and the introduction of certain legumes. Spaniards also contributed to the use of tomatoes, an ingredient that the French weren’t much fond of.

One of the most representative dishes of Louisiana cuisine that is a clear example of Spanish gastronomy in this part of the world is Red Beans and Rice, Ray Charles’ favorite dish, usually accompanied by sausage or pork chops.

Louis Armstrong, a native of New Orleans, always used to write “red beans and ricely yours” in his letters in honor of that dish he loved so much.

Red beans and rice was made on Mondays with leftover pork or ham bones and sausage from the previous day. Before washing machines existed, Monday was always the official laundry day in the city and this dish was very easy to make so it didn’t take up much time for household chores. Just a road tale, but it makes sense.

Truth be told, making this dish may take a good amount of time and you may need a few extra ingredients you probably don’t have on hand. That’s why it’s recommended that you try the best red beans and rice recipe on a Sunday while you are chilling at home and there are no hurries.

Louisiana Red Beans and Rice


  • 1/2 cup of white rice (preferable short-grain white rice).
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped.
  • 1/2 onion, chopped.
  • 1/2 large green bell pepper or 1 small green bell pepper, chopped.
  • 1 teaspoon of dried thyme.
  • 1/2 teaspoon of sweet paprika.
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground black pepper.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • 1 bay leaf.
  • A pinch of cayenne powder (optional).
  • 14 oz of canned or cooked red kidney beans.
  • 1 cup of vegetable broth or water.


  1. Cook the rice following the package directions. Place aside.
  2. Pour some oil, vegetable broth, or water into a large enough saucepan, and when it’s hot, add the vegetables (onion, garlic, and green bell pepper) and cook until brownish (approximately 5 minutes).
  3. Mix in the herbs and spices: salt, paprika, pepper, thyme, bay leaf and cayenne.
  4. Stir in the beans, vegetable broth, or water, and simmer for about 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
  5. We used a hand blender to thicken the stew, but you may also use a fork or a potato masher to do so.
  6. Serve the beans beside the rice right away. We serve it with fresh parsley on top, but it’s not required. This meal is also commonly served with a drizzle of spicy sauce on top.
  7. Leftovers can be kept in the refrigerator (better in an airtight jar) for up to 4-5 days.

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