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15

Making a roux has two purposes: Coat the flour granules with fat so they are able to dissolve into the cooking liquid without binding up. Cook the flour to remove the raw cereal flavor. When the cooked, fat-covered, flour is introduced to boiling liquid the starch granules swell and explode tangling up the cooking liquid. The cooking liquid is thus ...


12

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 ...


11

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. ...


10

A roux is a stable mixture (an emulsion) of fat and water held together by an emulsifier such as starch. So you could try any number of flours from grains that contain starch such as potato, rice, barley, buckwheat, etc. As far as the Maillard Reaction taste and color that you'd like to substitude, potato and barley (IMO) are the better bets. The note on ...


9

Typically, you go for 1 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp butter for each cup of liquid. You may have to adjust slightly, but that's a good starting point. After the quantity of roux, the next factor to thickening strength is cooking time. The longer you cook the roux, and consequently, how dark it gets, the less thick the final result will be for a given quantity of ...


9

My understanding is that the ratio shifts from 10:1 (liquid to roux) for a pale roux, up to about 5:1 for a nutty brown roux, with a somewhat linear relationship between the two extremes. A dark brown roux has very little thickening power, mostly they are used for flavor more than actual work-a-day thickening. The problem may not so much in the roux ratios, ...


8

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 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

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 ...


7

Roux is very forgiving, and can be made a variety of consistencies, or ratios of butter to flour. It should only be brown if you are intentionally making a brown roux, for the flavor. Otherwise, it should be fairly yellow, closer to the color of the butter. At the canonical ratio of 1:1 butter to flour (by volume), the consistency will be thick enough not ...


7

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 ...


6

There's a great overview of the differences here, including a taste-test experiment at the end. Broadly: beurre manié started off as a "lazy" roux; some people claim that the cooking of the roux reduces any "floury" taste; the experiment did not find any discernible difference between the two options for either a bechamel sauce or a velouté.


6

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 ...


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

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 ...


5

According to On Food and Cooking by Harold McGee, roux functions as a thickener due the starches in the flour swelling up and interfering with the flow of water. In fact, he indicates that technique can be used with any starch and any fat. This implies that a lower-protein flour (which implies higher starch, weight per weight) like soft summer wheat, or a ...


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

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 ...


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

In a roux, the starches are not normally gelatinized during the production of the roux--in fact, if you make your roux with oil rather than butter, there is no water present (other than latent moisture from the flour) to do so. Roux thickened sauces must normally be brought to the boil; this is when the actual gelatinization takes place. . . . Roux is ...


4

The sauce will thicken when cooled. And as for consistency... It really depends on individual taste. The usual test is "When you did a spoon into the sauce, does the sauce coat the spoon upon removal?" However, I like my sauces a bit thicker. Tempered choco. is about my tastes, however alot of people would like it a bit thinner. It's all a matter of taste. ...


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

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

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-...


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