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highchef

roux

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I can make a gumbo in 30 minutes. I do that with pre-cooked chickens, broth, and sausage that I nuke for a few minutes to get the fat out. and pre-made roux and Guidry's pre chopped veggies.

When you have to make a roux, and have babies..it's allmost allways a disaster, that's when I discovered premade roux. Honey, a burnt roux is not something you want in your house.

Then I realized, none noticed when I'd switched. (except my mother in law..long story, short: Mom: cant't make a roux? Yes I can, do you want to take care of the kids while I do? Mom: no, I'll just make the roux.)

This weekend I made a gumbo for 60 people. Boiled the chickens (4) deboned..sauteed the sausage to get some fat out etc... and put it all together with a HUGE jar of roux.

The oldest, self proclaimed cook there declared it 'perfect'.

I also used fresh chopped Guidry's veggies..

and a sprip of rosemary and 5 thymes. it was a really good gumbo.

I can do it the long way, but I think it's almost as good the short way. And the difference is not in the roux, but in the broth..whether I cook the chicken myself of cheat. I like it better when I cook the chicken, but if you're in a big hurry I don't think it's a huge thing.

For seafood, it's a good thing to have a seafood stock on hand. I have to make mine because I don't have a food store handy that keeps that. I also do everything from scratch with a seafood gumbo..including roux. It has to do with how much money I'm spending I guess. To do a seafood gumbo right cost me about 200 bucks for 20 people. lump crab is 25/lb..

Do you make your roux? has anyone been able to tell the difference?

I think the jar stuff is the best thing on the cajun market, but now I have teenagers fighting. get back to you.

edit: usual stuff.


Edited by highchef (log)

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I have used roux from a jar on several occasions and think my gumbo turns out just fine. My husband, who is picky aobut his gumbo, also doesn't mind jarred roux. Usually what we will do is make a double batch of roux and put half in the fridge. However, we don't have kids and I am sure that makes a difference. When I buy it I buy Savoie's.


Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you and be silent. Epicetus

Amanda Newton

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Why buy roux? Because it is nothing more than browned flour in oil. No magic, no voodoo, no mystery. Whether I make the roux myself or John Folse does it in his factory down the road in Donaldsonville, what difference does it make? The end result is indistinguishable. It's not like a stock, where store-bought equivalents are decidedly inferior to the commercial product.

So many of our traditional dishes start with a roux; people who only make the occasional roux don't see the beauty of the jarred roux as a convenience food. But if 2/3 of your traditional cooking begins with a roux, it sure is nice to have a jar on hand for a quick crab stew, or chicken fricasee, or peas in a roux, or as the base of a brown gravy. On a weeknight, I sure as hell am not going to make a roux to turn out a quick batch of crawfish etouffee (especially since my version uses just a tiny dab of roux).

Practically every LA native cajun home cook I know keeps some sort of premade roux on hand. Some only use it for "emergency" purposes (like whipping up a last-minute gumbo when the neighbor's grammaw dies unexpectedly and you need to feed 40 people, or thickening a dish that has ended up too thin). Others virtually NEVER make a homemade roux. Some are partial to the powdered kinds without oil, others prefer a particular brand or shade of browning. Just as many people make roux in the microwave, a quick and easy process, albeit with none of the romance of the black iron skillet and slow stirring. Still, daily home cooking for a family has never been about romance.

I'm happy that all of these people are still cooking traditional foods, and I'm happy that Louisiana entrepreneurs have developed convenience foods that make it easier for the home cook to stick to traditional dishes on a daily basis, rather than relegating them to special occasions or turning them into inaccessible symbols of a cuisine practiced only by those with lots of time.

Of course you don't get it, just like I don't get why people buy pasteurized crabmeat in little cans.....

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Of course you don't get it, just like I don't get why people buy pasteurized crabmeat in little cans.....

Not exactly an accurate analogy, considering that flour and oil are not limited to regional availability.

Though I don't think "why buy roux" is a fair question, either. Like Celeste says, when most of your traditional dishes are based off of something that takes a significant amount of time, it might make a lot more sense to you. For instance, I prefer making tagliatelle, etc., to buying it. But when I just don't feel like going through the process, and I really want some pasta, I'll buy it. To South Louisianans, gumbo isn't something you turn into a project because you want to try a cuisine that's foreign to you. It's comfort food, and sometimes you just want comfort food to be easy.

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Why would I go to Hebert's Speciality Meats here and when I am picking up the Camellia red beans, the Poche's Tasso and Andouille pick up a back up jar of roux. As has been stated above, for emergencies. Like it is 5 pm and my employer decides she wants gumbo for dinner. Or I have just found out that a crowd is coming to dinner and I only have 2 hours to put the whole thing together. Or if I am just being lazy on my day off and want a little etouffee for 2.

Oh how I wish I could get the real unpastrized crab meat here. I do have to settle for the cans from the fish market. The little cans from the grocery store over where the canned tuna and salmon are is really bad.

Now I want some speckled trout with a little crabmeat for dinner. oh well. Next trip to New Orleans.


It is good to be a BBQ Judge.  And now it is even gooder to be a Steak Cookoff Association Judge.  Life just got even better.  Woo Hoo!!!

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Sign me up with the crowd that always has a little commercially-prepared roux in the pantry. Assuming Chris really wants an answer to his question, "Why in the world would you buy roux?" it's because I live alone. When I'm entertaining, I start from scratch, and turn the whole thing into a project.

But when it's just me and my TV and I'm tired and hungry, my recipes that start with "first you make a roux" are a lot more appealing when they start with "first you take a spoonful of roux out of the jar."


Edited by Jaymes (log)

I don't understand why rappers have to hunch over while they stomp around the stage hollering.  It hurts my back to watch them. On the other hand, I've been thinking that perhaps I should start a rap group here at the Old Folks' Home.  Most of us already walk like that.

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Well there's also the burn factor. If your not careful you can lose skin for a while. And as noted above, it needs your attention, so multitasking is out of the question when a rouxs on the stove.

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Yeah, Cajun Napalm; God forbid you trip over the cat! :rolleyes:


"Commit random acts of senseless kindness"

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Ooh where does a northern girl (with southern roots & tastebuds) get this stuff? I love gumbo, but it is awfully hard to find the time to get that roux dark enough...

I took a quick look on amazon, but all they have is "roux powder" ???


Do you suffer from Acute Culinary Syndrome? Maybe it's time to get help...

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Is it not possible to make a big batch and freeze it? I would assume that something with that much fat content would be fairly easily scooped out of a frozen container.


--

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You don't have to freeze jarred roux. It keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator. You could probably keep it at room temperature -- I don't recall anything saying "refrigerate after opening" on the jar, but it doesn't take much room in the fridge.

I make my own. However, just like stock, I am rarely without an emergency back-up on hand.

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Ooh where does a northern girl (with southern roots & tastebuds) get this stuff?  I love gumbo, but it is awfully hard to find the time to get that roux dark enough...

I took a quick look on amazon, but all they have is "roux powder" ???

Seems like "roux powder" would be . . . flour.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Is it possible, then to make a large batch of roux during some free time and just keep it in the fridge? I am wondering if I should try this.


Regards,

Michael Lloyd

Mill Creek, Washington USA

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Ooh where does a northern girl (with southern roots & tastebuds) get this stuff?  I love gumbo, but it is awfully hard to find the time to get that roux dark enough...

I took a quick look on amazon, but all they have is "roux powder" ???

Seems like "roux powder" would be . . . flour.

I think they're talking about the dry roux in this case dave. It's browned flour w/out the oil. I've never used it, but that could be done easily with a cast iron skillet. you'd still have to stir a lot, but you wouldn't have to wear asbestos. I really just thought it was another diet craze the first time I saw it, you know, another fat free thing. I have an idea that the flavor may still have some bite, but the body of the gumbo wouldn't quite be the same. anyone know?

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Right -- I was trying to make a joke. It reminded me of those expensive bottles of simple syrup I see in liquor stores.

As for browned flour, it's even easier on a sheet pan in the oven. Just rake it every once in a while. And no, it's not the same as an honest roux made with fat, but it has its uses.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Is it possible, then to make a large batch of roux during some free time and just keep it in the fridge?  I am wondering if I should try this.

I've had good results doing just this.

Margaret McArthur

"Take it easy, but take it."

Studs Terkel

1912-2008

A sensational tennis blog from freakyfrites

margaretmcarthur.com

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Is it possible, then to make a large batch of roux during some free time and just keep it in the fridge?  I am wondering if I should try this.

I've had good results doing just this.

So how long is it good in the fridge and how long in the freezer?

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Is it possible, then to make a large batch of roux during some free time and just keep it in the fridge?  I am wondering if I should try this.

I've had good results doing just this.

So how long is it good in the fridge and how long in the freezer?

As far as I can tell, forever, regardless of storage as long as it's cold.


Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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Is it possible, then to make a large batch of roux during some free time and just keep it in the fridge?  I am wondering if I should try this.
I've had good results doing just this.

So how long is it good in the fridge and how long in the freezer?

As far as I can tell, forever, regardless of storage as long as it's cold.

One thing that would be tricky in doing this is making sure that the roux doesn't burn. When preparing roux for typical use, when the roux achieves the proper level of darkness, you can more or less immediately stop any further browning by adding a (relatively) cold ingredient (usually the trinity vegetables). When making a dark roux that is meant to be saved, you don't have the ability to quickly cool the roux this way. Rather, you either have to go for a lighter roux and hope that some of the holdover heat will finish the browning, or you have to use a highly conductive pan and quickly put the base of the pan into an ice bath when you want to start the cooling (as one does with a dark caramel).


--

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Roux powder or oil-less roux -- it's just browned flour, and it works well. Many people go to this method when they want to reduce fat in their diet. Moi? Bacon fat makes a pretty good roux, too. :raz:

OIL-LESS ROUX:

2 cups all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Spread flour evenly across the bottom of a 15-inch cast iron skillet. Bake, stirring occasionally, for approximately 1 hour. Make sure to stir well around the edges of the skillet so flour does not scorch. Cook flour until light or dark color is achieved, depending on use. The roux will become darker when liquid is added. When desired color is reached, cool on a large cookie sheet, stirring occasionally. Store in a sealed jar for future use. 1 cup of oil-less roux will thicken 1 ½ quarts of stock to a proper gumbo consistency.

from John Folse

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Rather, you either have to go for a lighter roux and hope that some of the holdover heat will finish the browning, or you have to use a highly conductive pan and quickly put the base of the pan into an ice bath when you want to start the cooling (as one does with a dark caramel).

No need to hope for a well-browned roux if you use a heavy pot. I do this with three pounds of flour & an appropriate amount of oil at a time in a 14-quart ancient magnalite pot, and I haven't burned one in years. The trick is to use a very heavy pan....you want lots of thermal mass....stop when it is a few shades lighter than you like, remove from direct heat and place the pot on a heavy cutting board. Keep on stirring, and the residual heat of the pan, insulated by the wood, will continue to cook the roux. As long as you keep stirring, it can get damn dark wtihout burning--no need for an ice bath.

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Right. That would be the "hope that some of the holdover heat will finish the browning" bit I wrote above. Does seem that the level of darkness would still be somewhat variable, and that there would be a learning curve to using this method as you figured out through trial and error exactly when you had to pull the pan off the heat for your own individual equipment, volume of roux and desired level of color. I note that you say, "haven't burned one in years" -- which suggests that you burned a few (and perhaps had a few batches come out too light) in the process of figuring out just when to pull the pan to the side so the browning was finished just how you wanted it by residual heat. Of course, once you do figure out the process, you're good to go. :smile:


--

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Right.  That would be the "hope that some of the holdover heat will finish the browning" bit I wrote above.  Does seem that the level of darkness would still be somewhat variable, and that there would be a learning curve to using this method as you figured out through trial and error exactly when you had to pull the pan off the heat for your own individual equipment, volume of roux and desired level of color.  I note that you say, "haven't burned one in years" -- which suggests that you burned a few (and perhaps had a few batches come out too light) in the process of figuring out just when to pull the pan to the side so the browning was finished just how you wanted it by residual heat.  Of course, once you do figure out the process, you're good to go.  :smile:

You could make the process easier (if a bit more messy) by transferring the roux to a thin stainless bowl then put it in ice water. That would shock the roux faster than leaving in the pan (even if the pan's material is highly conductive) and you could bring it closer to doneness without worrying as much about overcooking.


nunc est bibendum...

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