Tuesday, October 17, 2006

You Will Roux The Day

It was chilly this weekend, a perfect excuse for a big pot of gumbo. My chicken and sausage gumbo graced these pages before, this is not a repeat, but a look into the low fat roux I do.

A traditional roux is a mix of flour and fat that is browned in a skillet. It will then be used to flavor, thicken, and color a dish like gumbo or ettoufee. Typically, the flour to oil ratio is at least 1:1, my recipe uses almost no fat. I didn't create this method by the way, it was in Southern Living about 12 years ago.

First, preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
When the oven's hot enough, place a cup of flour in a cake pan and place it in the oven. Set the kitchen timer for about 5 minutes.

(The pic above is after the first 5 minutes.)
Check it and stir it around after 5 minutes. Reset the timer for 3 minutes. Check and stir. It's going to start changing color and the trick is to get it nice and toasty without burning it.
You can't walk away. You can't play a video game or blog. You must stay nearby and monitor it.
If you ignore it, the flour will burn just as sure as garlic bread does when you set it under the broiler for "just a minute". One minute it's perfect, you take your eye off it to pet the dog, and POOF! Blackened smoking lumps. Don't do it. Stay focused!

If you are diligent, it should start looking like the pan above. This batch is ready.

(Woo Hoo Roux!)
Gradually sprinkle the browned flour into the dutch oven with the holy trinity ... chopped celery, onion, and bell pepper already cooking in just a splash of olive oil.
Bingo! A great roux with almost no fat in it.

Later, after the addition of various magical ingredients, it looked like the pot above.

It was delicious.

By the way, you can get me out of trouble if you know where to find insulated round cake pans. Apparently, "Airbake" has discontinued the round ones and the chief baker really likes them. It seems, I left one out by the BBQ a while back and the dogs carried it off to some secret location.

Posted by Picasa


The MacBean Gene said...

Thanks for the coking tip and the stew looks great. But in addition to Emeril's holy trinty, you know his other admonition, pork fat rules.

The MacBean Gene said...

That's "cooking". No tips of any sort on "coke"

debbie said...

I thought that the holy trinity was celery, onion, and garlic. I must have missed that roux recipe in Southern Living. I've been a subscriber for forever. I'll be giving that recipe a try this weekend. Thanks for sharing.

debbie said...

Also, try Bed, Bath, & Beyond for those cake pans.

Deb said...

The gumbo looks delicious; I've not yet ventured into such culinary concepts as roux, but after seeing this I may have to give it a try.

I've been doing a bit of nutritional research lately, and it seems that Emeril's admonition "Pork fat rules!" may actually be healthier than what we've been led to believe. The olive oil is a good choice too.

roger said...

i do like new ways, to me anyway, of cooking. olive oil is, however, a positive food ingredient. nutritious and good for humans. no trans fat. no saturated fat. no reason to skimp on it.

[/food lecture]

i'm gonna try this toasted flour roux. the last picture is just dandy. a fine looking pot of gumbo. do you put okra in yours?

robin andrea said...

Eight minutes without blogging? I'm not sure I can give up that much time for a pan of flour in the oven. That's a great roux recipe. We'll definitely try it. The gumbo looks delicious.

Mark said...

My stomach is growling. Or was that the dog? Nope, stomach.

Thunder Dave said...

Wow man, that does look good! Lightnin whipped up a batch of gumbo last week, and it was great! We also had some folks in from Europe so of course I took them out to Pappadeaux for some shrimp creole and crayfish ettoufee! They loved it! (of course I've had Patience's creole before, and Pappadeaux comes in a close second!)

Abandoned in Pasadena said...

Looks & sounds good.

Floridacracker said...

Well, ya' know down here any nonalcoholic carbonated drink is a "coke" :)

The garlic went in later, but I agree ... maybe it should be a holy quartet.
This recipe is in the 1994 Southern Living annual recipe book, page 20. Thanks for the cake pan tip. I may yet get out of hot water.

Pork fat rules??
Have you noticed how they change the nutritional advice constantly?
Green tea is good for you.
Green tea doesn't make any difference.
Red wine is good for you (according to studies financed by the wine industry)
Red wine may have no beneficial effects.
Pork will clog your arteries.
Now pork fat is good??

... Cooks all over the south are jumping for joy. We season everything with bacon.

i really, really don't like okra so it is not welcome. I agree on the olive oil, as long as it's EXTRA virgin.

I thought two health concious adventurous cooks like you and roger would like this.

Obey the growl :)
We fed off this pot (with some adjoining rice) for two days.

Wow, mega brownie points with Patience. Shmoozer!

It was both.

Deb said...

FC-I'll stick with the food advice that complies with what I want to hear. :)

The MacBean Gene said...

And I'll stick with Debs advice.

vicki said...

oh, YUM. And clever! I do a lot of cooking and I never heard this routine before. I shall try it soowe'll be having chicken, shrimp and sausage ettoufee during the World Series. I'm telling you- you could make your pile with a cookbook.

Floridacracker said...

Perfect! Me too. So glad that dark chocolate is now a "health" food.

You can't go wrong with that plan.

Sounds good, I hope it turns out tastey!
A cookbook? Does anyone still buy those? I google recipes these days ... ahem, when I feel the need for one ;)

Wayne said...

A holy trinity that doesn't include mushrooms? I probably belong to one of those cult culinary religions. It's probably the bell peppers that don't belong there, at least not in the early stages. I like my bell peppers crunchy. (However, plenty of hot peppers in their place work very nicely!)

I don't try enough roux.

Ericka said...

mushrooms = evil, vile fungus. they have no part in a holy trinity. :-p just my two cents...

of course, i've rambled on about the delights of the wilton tent sale before, but you can almost certainly replace her bakeware AND add cool things to make her forget she was ever upset at www.wilton.com.

i'll have to keep the roux in mind. i tend to get distracted though so i'll probably burn the crap out of it at least once. (note to self: remember to buy ANOTHER d*mn fire alarm.) thanks for sharing!

Debbie said...

You are a cook after my heart! I also dislike okra, very much. They say that everything has a purpose, but I'm not sure what need okra fills. Have you ever considered adding a recipe section to your page?

Floridacracker said...

You should do roux, it's good for you.

I'm thinking mushrooms are not allowed in your kitchen.
Thank you for the wilton tip. I'm going to check it out!
Oh, and fire alarms are a handy cooking accessory. We run and fan ours often to get it to shut up when someone gets the garlic bread a little dark.

NOKRA... that's a conjunction!
When I get brave enough to switch to Blogger Beta I may have a recipe section.

doubleknot said...

Now I have done it - made my stomach growl after reading about your gumbo. Wish I knew what the secret ingredients were - oh well have to make up my own I guess.