When I first started cooking, I kept reading the word “roux” and had absolutely no idea what it meant or why I would ever need to make one. Oh, if only I had known.
I imagine it’s the same for most newbie cooks.
So Kim from Happy Pretty blog is here to explain it!
Hey there! I’m so glad to be working with Chelsey today and to be part of this Back to Basics series to help new and old chefs alike to be more knowledgeable, confident, and comfortable in the kitchen! I’m certainly no expert by any means, but I have learned a thing or two over the past few years since I have become a wife, mother, and commander of our family kitchen. I hope that you’ll find this useful in your culinary endeavors, it has certainly made things a little bit more tasty in my little abode!
What the heck is a roux anyway? First of all, it’s a French word which comes from beurre roux, meaning brown butter and is actually pronounced “roo”. And essentially, it is the base for SO MANY delicious sauces and soups. Plus, it’s super simple to make! Once you know how to make a roux, a whole world of culinary possibilities will open up to you because you will be able to create some really awesome meals from scratch using a few basic ingredients that I know you’ll already have at home.
To make a roux you need: equal parts flour and butter (or your choice of cooking fat like bacon drippings or oil). Yes,that’s it!!
- Melt butter in a pot over medium heat.
- Once butter is completely melted, slowly begin to add in flour, mixing with a whisk as you go.
- At first, it will be a think paste, but as you continue to whisk, it will begin to thin. Keep whisking until you can no longer smell that raw, flour scent. This will only take a few minutes. Just make sure it isn’t clumpy and you’re probably ok!
- When finished, it should still have a slightly grainy texture but will be much smoother than before.
This is where the real fun and creativity begin! A roux is the beginning stage of many wonderful sauces like homemade cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese. How about a nice, rich alfredo sauce? Or what about a creamy chowder? All of these things can be made from scratch if you know how to make a simple roux! I’ve made a nice lemon dill sauce to pour over salmon using a roux, some milk, lemon juice and dill. I’ve also made an easy mushroom sauce to go with a steak! Experiment in the kitchen, you never know what you’ll come up with unless you give it a try!
Like anything, perfection takes a bit of practice! Here are a few simple recipes to try out your new skill!