Roux tips

Yield: 10 servings

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Peg...A roux is the first step in many sauces, gravies, gumbos, and ettoufees. All it is is flour cooked in fat. Some cook it very slowly over low heat. Others, such as Paul Prudhomme, cook it very fast. Either way, avoid burning the flour. Some of Prudhomme's tips follow: 1) Use a heavy skillet such as a cast iron one. 2) Use a 50-50 mixture of flour to fat. 3) Heat the oil to smoking before adding the flour about a third at a time. 4) Stir or whisk immediately and constantly (being very careful to avoid burning yourself or the flour; Prudhomme refers to it as Cajun napalm.) 5) If black specks appear in the flour, it has burned and should be discarded. 6) If it appears the roux is darkening too fast, remove from the heat and continue whisking until you have it under control. 7) Depending on what you want to end up with, you can produce a roux ranging from white (for that I wouldn't start with oil heated to smoking) to light tan, to medium brown to a dark, chocolate brown. 8) Keep whisking even after you remove the roux from the heat because it will continue to cook for several minutes and may burn.

Submitted By DIANE LAZARUS On 10-27-94

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