Back to Basics: Roux  

In the section Back to Basics, I want to revisit many of the building blocks of culinary arts, such as basic French Cuisine, the flavor profiles and combinations of spices, tools and everything that comes to mind in terms of having a solid culinary foundation. For me, cooking is like building a house, you need to have a sound structural foundation, but also you need some degree of creativity to make the house a home. Though I’m not going to get all Alton Brown on you, I will also explain a bit of the science behind cooking. I believe this section would give my readers the tools and the understanding on how to create stunning and delicious dishes! I hope you enjoy learning from my blog.

In the upcoming posts, I’m going to cover the Five Mother Sauces of Classical French Cuisine, which are the basis for a plethora of modern-day sauces. But lets start with baby steps! A very important component for sauces is Roux. Roux is a thickening agent made out of equal parts of flour and fat, usually butter. It’s the Holy Grail of French cuisine and the base for three of the Mother Sauces of Classical French Cuisine– Béchamel sauce, Velouté sauce and Espagnole sauce.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
  • The ingredients in the picture are for making a garlic cream sauce

Preparation:

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add flour and stir until mixture is well blended.

There are four colors of Roux- white, blond, brown, or dark. I made a blonde one.

The coloration depends on the amount of cooking time. By increasing the cooking time, nutty and toasted flavors will develop and the thickening power of the Roux will increase as well. If you are not going to add a liquid directly after, remove the Roux from pan because it will continue to cook and it will burn. Store in an air tight container  for up to 2 weeks.

Why it works?

Cooking the flour allows the starch granules to absorb moisture evenly, thickening the sauce with out clumping it! In this case I made a garlic cream sauce so there was no need to remove it and refrigerate.

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