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Post  FarmerValerie on 8/29/2011, 9:06 am

Okay, the secret to Gumbo is the Roux (Roo). If you can get the Roux right your Gumbo will be right, and if you can make gravy, you can make a Roux. I have searched far and wide for a detailed Roux explination for a family member, and just found one a few weeks ago, so that's the one I'll be sharing here. I'll add Gumbo recipes later and I hope others will jump in too, BUT since the Roux is the key, I figured it deserved it's own spot. Of all the cookbooks I own (I don't own many, I copy 1 or 2 recipes and pass them along) my Cajun cookbooks are my favorite. All of the Gumbo and most of the Soup recipes sart with "Make Roux", it's the base for all of them.



Roux

(Base for stews, Gumbos, Sauce Piquants)



A heavy pot is a must to make a pretty roux. The heavier your pot the easier your job will be. (NOTE:Use cast iron skillet or pot-the bigger the better, but you must be able to manage it, I use my skillet and transfer to big pot). Before you start your roux, start heating water in a kettle, the amount depending on whether you are making a gumbo or stew. You MUST ALWAYS add HOT water to a roux. It is very important NOT to change the temperature of the roux by adding cold water to it. It could curdle the roux, or seperate the flour and water from the oil. The measurements given below will make a roux large enough for a stew with 1 hen, or a gumbo with 2 pounds of shrimp. If you wish to make a larger recipe, enlarge the recipe in the same proportions given. We feel it is important to use more oil than flour.



2/3 C flour 3/4 C oil (vegetable or corn)



Mix the flour and oil in a heavy iron pot until it is thoroughly mixed BEFORE you turn on the fire under the pot. After it is mixed, turn the fire on medium to low, STIRRING CONSTANTLY. (NOTE: when you have done this a couple of times, you can work on a higher heat-NOT HIGH-but stick to the instructions the first few times). Stir all over the bottom of the pot to be sure no particles stick to the bottom. As you stir, the roux browns slowly (SLOWLY). DON'T cook your roux fast, because as it reaches the done point, it will be too hot and burn (NOTE:if you do burn it, throw it out and start over). When your roux is a rich dark brown (NOTE:color of a brown paper bag),cut off your fire IMMEDIATELY, while continuing to stir. (NOTE:I have an electric stove and carefully move pan to another burner). Add HOT water to lower the temperature slightly so the roux will stop browning. (NOTE:add just about 1 cup of water, NOT all of it yet). Some people prefer to add a cup of chopped onions (or onions and peppers-this is what I do) to lower the temperature. Eitehr way, you continue to stir until the tempers is lowerd sufficiently. The you may turn your fire on again under the pot and add the rest of the ingredients for your stew or gumbo Slowly.





Okay, that's the roux. If you have any questions ask away, and yes you can freeze roux, and gumbo is never as good the first day as it is the next, so you can freeze gumbo too. In fact I always get enough for 2-3 servings, set it aside, let it cool, and then hide it in the deep freeze. I'll get a couple of gumbo recipes up soon, I need to start my day.



It can take 45 minutes to an hour to get your roux done, if you have to leave it (broken bones, house on fire) REMOVE it from the heat, DO NOT-AGAIN-DO NOT stop stirring, and DO NOT-AGAIN-DO NOT leave it unattended. Have everything ready BEFORE starting your roux.
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Post  FarmerValerie on 8/29/2011, 9:59 am

I thought I would add, that yes you can use lard/crisco instead of oil. I have heard some use peanut oil, since it can tolerate heat better than any other oil, but have not personally used it for roux.



Also many of these recipes are OLD family recipes and since when these were actualy put to paper with pen flour was still brown, so yes, you can use whole wheat (aka real) flour.
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Post  madnicmom on 8/29/2011, 11:28 am

Thank you! I'm printing this off!
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Post  FarmerValerie on 8/29/2011, 11:34 am

GREAT!!! I'll try to get the gumbo/stew recipes up later. Don't let the time and technique scare you, you can experiment with a smaller size, say 3 Tbsp oil 2 Tbsp flour, and see how it goes. But once you start the roux you cannot leave it, I have a kid stir it while I make a bathroom run halfway thru, and have even considered putting on my voicemail to leave a message to call back I'm making roux, but then they may come over for some......
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Post  FarmerValerie on 8/29/2011, 12:00 pm

Thank you to the kind person who fixed the op!!!
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Post  Jay Bird on 8/29/2011, 2:40 pm

I have been told that guineas make the best gumbo , even better than duck Guineas are all dark meat, I have 60 extra birds cheap!
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Post  FarmerValerie on 8/29/2011, 2:42 pm

Ha, just in time for Football kickoff too. Wish I could.
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Post  sceleste54 on 8/29/2011, 11:24 pm

I just made a big batch of chicken and sausage gumbo with my home grown okra....mighty fine !!
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Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/30/2011, 12:31 am

Yea! FarmerV. Very good instructions for a roux. It took me almost six months before I figured out how to make a good roux years ago. Wish I'd had your instructions back then. Agreed, a good 10" cast iron chicken fryer is about the best for making roux, as the tall sides help eliminate splatter of hot grease/flour mix, a/k/a Cajun napalm. Nonna
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Post  FarmerValerie on 8/30/2011, 7:46 am

Thanks Nonna, I have 3 cajun cookbooks, all from the Junior League of Lafayette. The one this roux is from was written in 1967, which is what I have been looking for. When I read the instructions for this one, I was in awe of the detail for making the roux. The other two have a roux recipe, but not this detailed.



sceleste54, good for you, I also have a recipe for preparing okra for gumbo and stews in the summer so it's ready in 15 minutes in the winter, I'll try to get that up soon too.
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