Monday, April 9, 2012

You call it gravy, we call it roux

I have to give credit to where credit is due and I owe the roux (sounds like rue) to my wonderful mother-in-law Lu.

I never learned how to make gravy that wasn't lumpy until I was introduced to the roux.  Roux?  I had never heard of it.  It's the basis for many a good sauce.

Here's a little twist that my oldest daughter came up with:

Solid Roux

I use this each time a cook for soups or cheese sauces. I struggled to add the hot liquid slow enough to a fresh rue without breaking it and forming lumps, or getting that grainy flour taste. So after watching many episodes of @"Diners, Drive-in and Dives" where I witnessed chefs and cooks add a solid rue to an already warmed liquid I had to figure out how to do it myself. So I searched my good friend Google and found the process on various sites. This one made the most sense to me, although I don't remember exactly where I found it.

 To add it to your recipe, warm the liquid you are using in a pot over medium heat, but don't bring it to a boil. If using milk you will want to whisk it as it is warming to prevent scalding. When small bubbles form around the edge of your pot, add the rue to your liquid and whisk until dissolved. I use half of the solid rue to thicken soups ranging from 4 to 6 cups of liquid. I use two smaller chunks (about 2TBS) to thicken cream sauces for mac and cheese or gravies of 1 to 2 cups of liquid. If adding cheese into your rue, you will want to raise the temperature of your rue to a simmer and begin to add your cheese small amounts at a time. This will prevent clumping or oil separation in the cheese sauce.

Equal parts flour and unsalted butter I use 1 stick of butter (1/2 cup) 1/2 flour

Melt butter over medium heat, whisk in flour and cook for four minutes while stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and pour into a container that won't melt from the heat.

Allow to cool and solidify at room temperature then store in sealed container in the fridge for up to a month.


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