Cajun roux is made with vegetable oil.
Creole roux is made with butter, clarified or not.
The longer roux cooks, the more it deepens in color, developing an wonderful nutty flavor.
Roux does not always need to be dark. It may be blonde, caramel, peanut butter, or deep walnut. It’s all good for cooking. You decide when the roux is done. It all depends upon the recipe it will enhance, your palate, and the time you have for cooking.
My favorite all-purpose roux is a beautiful caramel (like the one to the left). It can be made in about 12-15 minutes. Dark walnut roux requires patience as it it can take up to 45 minutes of steady stirring as it finishes to nutty perfection.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Melt the butter over medium high heat in a small sauce pan. Once the butter is bubbling merrily and has stopped foaming, add the flour, stirring to incorporate. Immediately reduce the heat to medium low.
Stir constantly, dragging the spoon through the mixture in a slow steady way until the flour begins to cook and the color starts to change. Keep stirring until the color is just right for your recipe. Remove from heat. Cool for immediate use or refrigerate.
Do not add hot fresh roux to your dish or there will be some sizzling and spattering to clean up. Let it cool a little first.
Spoon Mage™ Notes:
If your burners run a little hot, reduce the heat to low instead of medium low.
The only way to ruin the roux is to burn the flour. To avoid this don’t stop stirring until the pan is removed from the heat. If you see black bits, it means some of the flour has burned and the roux will not be good for any recipe. Pitch it and begin anew. Sorry. There is no way to correct burnt flour.
The image to the right shows a blonde roux in the early stage of development. Just a minute to go and it will be done. If you plan to thicken a light colored dish such as Corn Potato Chowder, this is the roux to use.
The flavor of raw flour is gone after only about 6 minutes of stirring. It may be used any time after that.
Roux is very flexible. Make it at the time of need. Or prep it early in the day and keep off heat.
For time saving any time roux, stir up larger quantities in one batch, place in a sealed container, and store as long as you like in the refrigerator. It will keep indefinitely.
Also, experiment with a Cajun roux made of vegetable oils. You may prefer the flavor.
For a wonderful cookery experience, go ahead and try making a nice walnut roux – even if you don’t need it yet! Remember, it keeps indefinitely in the refrigerator.
Caramel roux also thickens chicken gravy and creates thick satisfying soups.