Chef Sherman's-- Cooking tip #1
Applies to: Sauces
Note: What some experts say!
A French cuisine, roux is a mixture of flour and fat, usually butter
or oil. The proportion is roughly 1:1, but I tend to use slightly more
flour than oil; maybe 1-1/4 cups of flour to 1 cup of oil.
There are three basic types of roux: light (or what the Cajuns call
"blond"), medium (or "peanut butter" colored), and dark. There is white
roux also, which is cooked for just a minute to get the flour taste out.
You also have to take it off the heat slightly before the roux gets to
the color you want, because the residual heat in the pan (particularly
if it's cast iron) will continue to cook the roux. Cajun/Creole cooking
is famous for Roux as well and these chef's like to add onion, celery,
and bell pepperto the roux before it gets to the desired color, that
will also help slow the cooking process.
When you're stirring your roux, be very careful not to splatter any
on you. It's extremely hot, and it sticks.
Oil-less roux, dump the flour into a cast-iron skillet and
toast it dry, making sure to stir it around as you would a normal roux.
This perfect for people who are on low-fat diets. Also you can microwave
it, but its not the same trust me!
Many cooks shy away from making a roux, which is essential not only to
the majority of Cajun dishes but also to French sauces and even your
basic white sauce. With the right equipment and attention, you can
become adept in no time at making a roux.
Melt butter in a small, heavy pan over low heat. (For most recipes,
three tablespoons of butter and three tablespoons of flour are the
right amount.) When the butter is melted, whisk in an equal amount of
flour, continuing to whisk until the mixture is smooth. Allow the
mixture to bubble slowly, whisking constantly so that it does not
burn. Keep heat very low throughout the cooking process. Cook for
about 2 to 3 minutes, or until it is pale golden in appearance. At
this point, it will have lost some of its raw flour taste.
Some roux are cooked longer than this typical white roux. The longer
you cook it, the more flavor it has. Slightly darker, blond roux is
darker and thinner in texture than a white roux, while brown roux is
more pungent and nutty in flavor. A blond roux cooks for approximately
6 minutes. Brown roux, which has much less thickening power than white
roux, is used primarily to thicken classic brown sauces and gravies.
You have completed the procedure.