Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Roux - I'm Not Afraid of You (anymore)

I made a roux! You accomplished chefs out there may be snickering into your napkins. “Oh, I make roux every day, ha ha, it is no challenge!”

I was intimidated by roux, with the constant admonitions against burning and the stirring requirements and whatnot. But I had a bunch of andouille sausage, some peppers, red beans, onions and rice, and I figured I could create some sort of quickie gumbolaya beans and rice-ish mishmash. In the past, my Cajun mishmash has been watery and excessively tomatoey; this time I wanted a soupy gravy full of tasty bits that could be served over rice. It had to be a roux!

I should also mention that this week is soup and sauce week at culinary school, and I wanted to have a little practice before facing on the spot rouxmaking.

I melted 4 T butter in a saucepan and added 4T flour (roux is typically made with equal parts fat and flour). I stirred. And stirred.

They are right about the burning – you need to keep on stirring that roux or it will turn nasty in a flash. Even if you’re doing it right it will develop the smell of burnt popcorn. Be not afraid though, this stinkyness is normal.

Finally I got my peanut butter colored roux…

I added it to onions, garlic and peppers (pre-sweated) and a bunch of cold chicken stock. (As we just learned in school, you need to add hot roux to cold stuff, or cold roux to hot stuff – if both are hot the whole magical process doesn’t work.) I tossed in the beans, sliced andouille sausage, and a random mix of spices (oregano, parsley, cayenne, granulated onion and garlic, paprika, white pepper and a little chili powder), brought it to a boil, and then simmered while the white rice cooked for about 25 minutes.

I served it mixed with white rice. The result – quickie Cajun Sausage Mishmash. It wasn't beautiful, but it was delicious!


Blogger Jeff in NC said...

Hey, that's fantastic! Having never made a roux in my life, I humbly bow to your roux-ness!

One of the folks that works for me is taking culinary classes, and was complaining today that this is "The History of Food" week and she wants to make things! Haha.

10:01 PM  
Blogger anythingwithcheese said...

As Emeril always says, the true thickening power of roux is never achieved until it's boiling. Happy roux-ing!

1:02 AM  
Blogger s'kat said...

Truly, a thing of beauty! I'm verklempt!

8:36 AM  
Blogger MeBeth said...

Jeff - I'm so glad we finished up our history of food and are finally in the kitchen!

Allison - I should pay better attention, he's right!

Thanks S'kat!

4:51 PM  
Blogger Mona said...

mebeth that looks awesome. i don't think i've ever had a roux before..i'd love to try yours someday!

7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not afraid of it now either!

5:31 PM  

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