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.