I know it's really hot right now and you're not thinking about gumbo. But, if you were in NOLA you might just. We eat gumbo all year round down here, in between bites of ice cold snowballs. What's a hot kitchen when it's in the mid 90s outside? Wuss. Anyway, here are some instructions I put together for making New Orleans style roux (roo), just in case.
Makes a squirt more than 1 1/2 cups dark roux.
1 cup vegetable oil (canola in this example)
1 cup unbleached white flour
- If you want to make authentic New Orleans cuisine, you'll have to learn how to make a dark brown roux. No ifs, ands or buts, and absolutely no tan roux allowed, we're not making New Farm mac 'n' yeast cheese, kids. I know it's a little scary, what with the boiling roux being so freakin' stick-to-y'r-skin hot and all. But, if you pay close attention, you'll be sure to get good results.
- Please make sure you've no distractions and all pets and kids are tucked securely away, these instructions take 10-13 minutes of your absolute undivided attention. Hot roux quickly becomes a molten sticky paste and can produce severe burns. Do not attempt this in the nude.
- You must use a whisk when making a roux, and be sure to choose a pan in which the whisk can reach all surfaces. If you use a pan that is angled in a way where the bottom and sides form a rounded edge that is hard to get the whisk to scrape, your roux will burn. You won't have the time to get a spoon in there to loosen it up.
- Personally, I think it's OK to have A FEW dark specks in the roux, but, if at any time your roux is full of lots of black and dark bits, then it's burnt, and you'll need to try, try again.
- In a medium well chosen saucepan (see above) combine the flour and oil and whisk to blend well.
- Place the saucepan over medium high heat and whisk continually at regular intervals. I find that whisking ten seconds on, ten seconds off works for the first four minutes. Then whisk ten seconds on, five seconds off until you can begin to smell the roux (at about five minutes).
- Once you can begin to smell the roux, turn the heat down a bit, but keep it just above medium heat. Keep whisking. At around six minutes, begin to whisk constantly. At around seven minutes, the roux will begin to deepen. Turn the heat down to medium and don't stop whisking, even for a second. The roux will change from an amber colored mass to a brown chocolate or coffee color in about two minutes. You'll also notice that the texture of the roux will suddenly thicken and get fluffy. If your roux is browning too quickly, remove the pan from the heat, but don't stop whisking. Once the roux is a deep chocolate brown, remove from heat, but continue to whisk constantly until the roux has stopped cooking. This could take an additional 2-3 minutes. At this point, many recipes will say to add onions or some trinity (chopped onions, peppers and celery), because their addition helps to arrest the browning of the roux and cools things down quickly.
The finished roux on the right is a bit flashed out in the photo, it should be less red and more chocolate/coffee colored.
I am slowly developing an arsenal of vegan New Orleans style recipes and am looking for culinary saboteurs to help me test and evaluate them. If you read through this entire post with unabated relish and are dying for more, I need your help. Let me know if you're interested by posting here, or sending an email to kittee68 at yahoo dot com.