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57

You do not need to make a roux. While your proposed technique of adding flour directly to milk will almost certainly lead to clumps, there are other ways to incorporate flour, butter, and milk: namely, a beurre manié. First, let's explore why flour clumps in hot liquid. As explained in this Seattle Times cooking advice column, flour will immediately ...


34

If she was doing this in a pan on the heat (melting the butter, stirring in the flour, then adding milk), this is called making a roux, then a béchamel. If, instead, she kneaded the flour and butter 'cold', then added this to a hot liquid, it is called beurre manié. Notice that in both cases, the sauce is heated. From your question I could not tell if, and ...


14

I know it seems that mac 'n cheese should be a simple thing for a beginner cook to make. It isn't. Without a solid recipe, even experienced cooks can royally screw up mac 'n cheese. Generally it starts with a bechamel, also known as a white sauce. You're right, that starts with a roux which requires flour, or at least some kind of starch. Once you've got a ...


13

Roux Method The advantages of the roux method: It can be prepared in advance The raw flour taste is cooked out when the roux is prepared, so the sauce is ready as soon as it is thickened; this also makes it easier to add more roux to adjust the thickness of the sauce. It actually requires less supervision. You are actually being overly fussy with your ...


11

I was born and raised in the heart of Cajun country. My entire family loves gumbo, especially my moms. This is what I learned: get the roux as dark as possible without burning it (that makes the best gumbo). I think that's what happened to yours; you probably got it just right. Then you add the other ingredients so that it mellows down the bitter taste. ...


9

The advantage can be reduced to one word: taste. A slurry based sauce is not the same thing as a roux based sauce. Milk pudding is not a Bechamel in the same way that a baguette is not a brioche, margarine is not butter, and 'cocoa-containing fat glaze' is not ganache. It has a different taste, and cooks over the generations have preferred the Bechamel ...


8

I'm guessing that you were tasting a deep, concentrated char the first time, just shy of burnt (most likely in the roux itself). The simmering afterwards mellowed it, giving you the perfect (you may never duplicate it) level of caramelization in the final gumbo.


8

A sort of cheaty way to make a smooth cheese sauce is to melt cheese into evaporated milk. The reduced water content of the milk helps keep it smoother and more emulsified. I usually pour all but 2 tablespoons of the milk into a pan, heat it up, whisk in the cheese until it's completely melted. I then add some starch to the saved milk and make a slurry to ...


8

A roux is just cooking flour in an equal amount (or thereabouts) of fat. If you've already done it in butter, you already know what you are doing. Butter is tricky because there is some water left in the butter and the fat itself has a low smoke point. After making a roux with butter, another fat is easy. Butter contains water, but it's not so picky that ...


8

Making your roux with clarified butter will certainly work, and work well. Clarifiying removes the milk solids, which add nutty flavor when browned. Without them, the roux would be far less likely to burn, particularly if you want a lighter roux. Whether you're going for white, blond, brown, or dark brown roux, using clarified butter should not present a ...


8

Sauces like pan sauces and Roux-thickened sauces like bechamel or veloute are not traditionally finished in the same way. Pan sauces, like for steak au poivre involve deglazing, reducing (still primarily water-based liquid,) and either reducing further with heavy cream, or adding cold butter directly and not heating anymore, so it stays emulsified. Roux ...


8

If you want to make bechamel, a roux is necessary because, well, that's what bechamel is. If you use your proposed method (or anything else) then the result will not be a bechamel, per definition, and it will also taste differntly. In the first place, you will be missing all the fat, and then there are subtleties like the flour not being fried. This doesn't ...


6

The starch in a cheese sauce is not just for thickening; it also helps maintain the emulsion of the cheese, keeping the sauce smooth and creamy. Without resorting to modernist cuisine methods (sodium citrate), your best approach would be to make a traditional bechemel sauce (roux, cream), and then add in shredded cheese. You should find countless recipes ...


6

**RE: "although why you would want to is another matter" and "It's very simple to make fresh .. wouldn't it take as much time to defrost as it would take to make it in the first place?"**** That's because if you are making a white roux, it's quick and easy, but even then I freeze good chicken roux (white) to use later for gravies and sauces. That kind goes ...


6

I cook gumbo all the time. I usually cook large gumbo for parties.. 30 quarts or greater at a time. I can tell you from experience exactly what is happening... And one of the answers above is right on. Your roux is not mixing due to a temperature issue. I ALWAYS use 2 pots when making a gumbo... No matter what kind of gumbo it is. I use a cast iron ...


6

Yes. The important fat is the one the starch first goes into. The higher temperature reached by fats (as compared to water or milk) helps cook the flour, creating flavors. The liquid added later dilutes the mixture into a sauce. The liquid's fats are not as crucial for the sauce's thickness as the liquid's proteins. I think of the cooked butter-flour ...


6

You can visualise it like this: starch is the way that plants store energy, you can see it like long chains of glucose molecules. If you have these long chains, they lock in water at high temps (gelatinisation), and so they bind sauces. If you burn them, what you do is break those chains into glucose (or maltose), and that glucose you caramelise..that is ...


6

It doesn't need to be room temperature. All combinations of cold, warm or hot roux with cold, warm or hot milk work. The problem is that the whole process is somewhat finicky, and cooks need some experience until they reach a good match between the speed of pouring and the speed and area-coverage of whisking, so that the sauce does not lump. Once they have ...


5

Alex and Aki at "Ideas in Food" have developed a gluten free flour that works as a substitute for wheat flour in almost any situation. I have used it successfully in a roux. http://blog.ideasinfood.com/ideas_in_food/2012/02/what-iif-flour.html


5

Your roux will actually be easier to cook out (getting rid of that flour-y taste) if you use clarified butter, so you can cook a very very light roux that doesn't taste like a dough ball. When I have time for the extra step, that's how I make bechamel. If my kids sniff even a trace of flour in their cheese sauce I'll be left to eat a whole lot of mac-n-...


5

If you add the flour to the broth you don't have an opportunity to cook the flour separately. Roux is described by its color. Even the lightest whites or blonds are cooked a bit to remove some of the raw "cereal-y" flavor of the flour. Toasting it just a little removes this and it's generally considered an unpleasant taste. Darker preparations bring out ...


5

Gumbo is a stew/soup, etouffee involves a roux to make it more of a sauce served over rice as a vehicle, and jambalaya is a one-pot meal with rice as an integral part of the dish--sort of like a cajun paella. All three tend to have shellfish where as gumbo and jambalaya tend to also have sausage (etouffee usually doesn't have sausage that I've seen).


4

Technically, you can make roux with any starch and any fat, per Harold McGee. So use cornstarch or arrowroot or whatever you have. Just avoid something with strong flavor like cornmeal. Of course, the flavor and thickening properties will be those of the starch you use... And you probably don't want to make a brown roux with anything but flour because of ...


4

I believe that rather than "diluting" your gravy with stock, you could instead use less roux (fat and flour) with the same amount of juices (and perhaps a bit of stock). The extra tablespoon of butter, for example, meant you were "bumping up" the thickness of your final gravy to the next level. Here's some typical ratios from an earlier Question I had about ...


4

If it works for you (you like the results), there really isn't a disadvantage unless you have leftovers. Cornstarch (cornflour) thickened sauces tend to thin upon reheating more than roux thickened sauces. Depending upon what you are making, you may or may not notice it much if at all.


4

You can use most margarines, which are pareve. Most margarines contain lecithin to emulsify the (vegetable) oils with water to yield a butter-like texture. The lecithin should serve the same purpose as the emulsifiers found in butter. Kosher cooks have long used margarine as a general substitute for butter. I have not tested it in a pan sauce, but I would ...


4

Creating a roux is all about cooking the flour to the desired color. It can take from 3 to 15 minutes. Do this over medium heat. Stir constantly. You should not experience any smoking when making a roux. If you are experiencing smoke, turn the heat down.


4

The flour must be cooked in oil, otherwise the flour will never get hot enough to undergo the changes looked for in a roux. The oil will easily be over 350F, but milk will never get hotter than boiling.


3

I don't mix my pre-egg mass (not sure that roux is the right word here), but I don't have a stand mixer. Leaving it alone works just fine as long as it is uniformly cooled. If you don't mix (or even if you do) make sure to check the temperature in the middle of the lump of dough, not on the outside. As SAJ14SAJ mentioned, mixing it will expose all parts to ...


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