that is a bad play on a line from a poem by A. E. Housman, “With rue my heart is laden”. Rue and roux are homophones – both pronounced roo.
I’m here to talk about roux – the basis for that gravy y’all had on your turkey yesterday or for that cheese sauce that was on your mac ‘n cheese.
On Wednesday Ally Bean did a post about Thanksgiving and turkey and in the comments I outlined my ‘recipe’ for gravy – that is – the kind you put on turkey or mashed potatoes not the ‘gravy’ we Italians put on pasta.
Alley Bean commented on my post of yesterday that she did indeed use that recipe and everyone liked it. Yay! I always wonder when I post recipes whether anyone ever tries them.
Roux is the basis for so many of the delicious foods you eat, whether you know it or not. And it is the easiest thing to make and should be considered Cooking 101 – learn to make roux and the sky’s the limit.
Basic recipe: 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons flour. Melt the butter over a low flame(heat), add the flour and then, keeping the heat low, stir, stir, stir. Wooden spoon works great, fancy cooks use a whisk. I prefer the wooden spoon. You want to stir this until is is smooth and creamy and you need to cook/stir it long enough to get the raw taste from the flour. How do you know you’ve reached that point? Taste a tiny bit – you’ll know.
Then comes the magic. Add one cup of liquid to the roux, raise the heat and stir and stir until it becomes thick and – Gravy.
Now then – making turkey or chicken gravy – use chicken bouillon. A beef dish? Beef bouillon.
Add a cup of milk instead of bouillon and you have white sauce aka bechamel. Got your basic white sauce made? Add cheese and you have cheese sauce for mac and cheese.
Now I jazz my gravy up – I use 3/4 cup of bouillon and 1/4 cup of white wine. I add a couple shots of worcestershire sauce, and sometimes, just for the heck of it, a couple of dashes of hot sauce.
The basic recipe gives you about one cup of ‘gravy’ but it is easy-peasy to double it, or even triple it.
The caveat here is: STIR. I’m sure you’ve all had lumpy gravy and that’s because the cook didn’t stir, stir, stir – keeping it smooth.
Here’s a link to everything you ever wanted to know about roux, what it is, how to make it and recipes using it.