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If you’ve been broadening your culinary horizons by reading cooking blogs and perusing Pinterest, you may have see the word “roux” pop up on occasion. It sounds fancily intimidating – but I assure you, it is not! It is quite possibly the easiest thing you will make this week.
First of all, what is a roux?
A roux is a mixture of fat (butter, oil) and flour that is cooked into a paste and used as a thickener in sauces, stews, soups, gravies, etc. The darker the mixture (achieved by longer cooking times,) the more flavorful the roux, and the darker the dish.
There are three common types of roux: white, blonde and dark.
White roux = less cooking time. The mixture is removed from the heat once the ingredients are combined into a smooth paste and the mixture begins to bubble. You may use a white mixture in a light colored soup or sauce.
Blonde roux = moderate cooking time. The mixture is cooked and stirred into a smooth paste, and barely caramelized, until it turns a creamy, golden color.
Dark roux = longer cooking time. The mixture is cooked and stirred into a smooth paste until caramelization. It will be a medium chestnut color when it is fully cooked. A dark mixture is used in beef stews, gumbos, etc.
Now that you know what a roux is and what it is used for, here is how to make it in two easy steps. It couldn’t be simpler!
- Combine 2 T oil, ¼ C butter and ½ C flour in a pan over medium heat.
- Stir until the smooth paste becomes the color you desire.
That’s it. I told you it was easy!
The above recipe nicely thickens about 6 cups of liquid. Adjust as needed. You can always add thickening flour (sifted flour sold in a can by the flour) if you desire a thicker liquid.
Now you can be fancy and talk about all of the roux you make for various soups & sauces. 😉
You can put your new skill to great use in this yummy Gumbo recipe!
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