As I was writing my guest blog for another site (will be published Aug 28th) I was traveling down memory lane of foods I have eaten on my travels. While reviewing my tasty adventures in New Orleans I came across a text on Roux. No I am not talking about some hot french red head guy. I am talking about a very essential part of French cooking, particularly in sauces.
I only really learned about it while in New Orleans. I had taken a tourist cooking class to learn about Cajun cooking at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Yep the big guy, Kevin, on the site is the one who gave the class. I got to find that cookbook I bought fro there, not for the diet conscious but so good.
Anyways, back to roux, Kevin taught us to make roux in a recipe for Jambalaya. So what is roux? As per Wiki…roux is a cooked mixture of flourfat, traditionally clarified butter. It is the thickening agent of four of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: and sauce béchamel, sauce velouté, allemande sauce, and sauce espagnole. Butter, vegetable oils, or lard are common fats used. It is used as a thickener for gravy, other sauces, soups and stews. It is typically made equal parts of flour and fat by weight.
Flour and fat…sounds so sexy! Ok maybe not but oh my what a difference a roux makes to a recipe. Like it can make a normal sauce phenomenal! I am not kidding. And here are the other advantages of it: it does not have to be cooked very long to remove a floury taste and clumps of flour are removed. Lumpy sauces are definitely NOT sexy. One can make white roux, blond roux,brown roux,or dark roux.
A few things to keep in mind:
- the longer you cook it the darker the roux, which will have more taste. Just keep in mind also that the darker roux the less thickening power it will have.
- To use roux add liquid to it, stirring it in as you go. Don’t go the other way as you will get lumps.
- A good roux will have a slight shine to it
- If black specks appear in the roux, it has burned and you’ll have to start over.
OK so ready to try it?
Here is a basic Roux recipe
1/2 cup of each of flour and butter
Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. Off the heat, add the flour all at once. Mix well and cook to desired color, stirring constantly to prevent burning. This may take between 15 and 30 minutes depending on the roux you desire to achieve.
Have fun with your roux!
Hugs and Biscuits