Skip to main content

How to make a Roux

 A roux is the fundamental base for many classic sauces and is essential in Cajun and Creole cooking. It is a wonderful way to thicken a sauce and is easy to make. The one key to a roux is that the flour must be cooked long enough for the flour to lose its raw taste.


1/2 - 1 cup of vegetable oil or butter, but not olive oil.
1/2 - 1 cup of flour, all purpose 

Note: If you don’t need this much roux, just use less ingredients, but keep the equal parts ratio.

In a heavy sauce pan or Dutch oven and turn the heat onto medium. Let it heat for a few minutes and then add the oil and allow it to heat for a few more minutes. This is my trick to allow the oil to heat first, as I find that this can allow you to make a perfect dark roux in as little as 30 to 45 minutes.

Now add the flour and stir with a figure eight motion for as long as you need to reach the darkness of the roux you need. I like to use a wooden spoon to make my roux, and the only key at this point is don’t stop stirring or it will burn. If the mixture is cooking too fast and starting to burn, turn down the heat. Roux will burn in an instant, and once burned is not salvageable.

There are four basic types of roux:

White- Only for the most delicate sauces, primarily used in French cuisine.
Light Brown- For delicate dishes like soups (bisques), or as an addition to a sauce.
Medium – For most poultry and seafood dishes. It’s the color of light milk chocolate.
Dark – For smoky dark gumbos for wild game, turkey or really any meat if you like that smoky flavor. It’s the color of dark chocolate. 


Popular posts from this blog

Norfolk Style Seafood

This is such a good recipe and so simple to make. The story behind this recipe is interesting. When I was a young boy, we used to go to a seafood restaurant in Washington DC called O'Donnell's. They had wonderful food, and most importantly, they had Buck.

Buck was a gentle giant at 6' 2" and was always talking to me about his recipe. He had invented this style of cooking seafood and had even developed special pans which could be used over open flame and then it could be delivered to the tables still sizzling. He was rightfully very proud of this. 

After being there quite a few times, Buck shared his recipe with me and told me to keep it a secret. Since this was over 40 years ago, I guess I can reveal it now. 


1/2 lb Shrimp, Jumbo Lump Crab or Langoustines, raw and shelled
2 Tbsp Butter
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
Dash of Old Bay Seasoning
Juice of 1/2 Lemon
Few dashes of Tabasco
Splash of White Wine
Salt and Black Pepper

Heat your pan until fairly hot, then add butter an…

Turbot Poached In Puttanesca Sauce

I wanted to build on the puttanesca sauce I posted yesterday to show how a versatile sauce can be used to prepare multiple dishes.

I got the idea to poach some fish in the puttanesca sauce, as I found some really nice turbot at the market.

1 large finely chopped Onion 4 cloves of Garlic, finely chopped 2- 28 oz. cans of crushed or diced Tomatoes, or whole tomatoes that are lightly chopped in the processor.
3 Tbsp Olive Oil 3 tsp. Red Pepper flakes or a few whole red peppers
4 to 6 Anchovy filets ¼ cup of Capers, (Try to get the salted capers and prepare them by rinsing and then soaking for 30 minutes. it's worth the extra effort, as the flavor is vastly superior to the brined capers). ½ cup pitted Kalamata Olives Freshly ground Black Pepper
1 lb Turbot, cut into four pieces. You could substitute Cod, Hake or Monkfish.
Note: You will notice that there is no salt in this recipe. When you consider the olives, anchovies and capers, you really don't need additional salt. If you omit…

French Seafood Stew aka Bouillabaisse

I've always enjoyed bouillabaisse, but I've never tried making it. I assumed (wrongly) that it was very complicated. 

It is really simple to make and I have minimized the ingredients below, to make it even easier than a classical preparation. However, if you want a classic Bouillabaisse, just add in the optional ingredients listed below
Bouillabaisse is basically a fisherman's stew and reflects what seafood was caught fresh that day. There are many variations of this classic dish from Marseille.

I like to start with the classic preparations and then branch off from there. If you find a set of common ingredients, then you can start to craft your own recipe and make it your own. 
I love cookbooks and read them like novels. I always basically know the recipe I want to prepare, but I find that looking at multiple recipes and sources, gives me the best results. This is loosely based on Ina Garten’s Seafood Stew. 
4 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil 1 large Onion, chopped  1 teas…