Technique

Roux How-To

Get to know a French recipe starter that's an integral part of rich, saucy dishes
Roux How-To

Even if roux (pronounced “rue”) is not a food term you’re familiar with, chowder, gumbo, soufflé, and mac and cheese probably are—and such expressions as béchamel and velouté may ring a bell as well. Roux—equal parts fat and flour cooked together—is such an important part of these recipes that they simply couldn’t be made without it. From a smooth, basic white sauce (that’s a béchamel) to a robust Cajun stew, the following recipes show all the things a roux can do.

3 Easy Steps

1. Stir together equal parts melted or hot liquid fat (butter, oil, or margarine) and flour in wide-bottomed pan or skillet over medium heat.

2. Cook the roux, stirring constantly with a whisk or wooden spoon, to desired color (the darker the roux, the deeper the flavor):
WHITE 2 to 4 minutes; add milk for a béchamel (the basic French white sauce) or broth for a velouté (a stock-based light sauce).
BLOND 5 to 8 minutes; used for veloutés and chowders.
BROWN 10 to 15 minutes; used for espagnole sauce and stews.
DARK BROWN 20 to 30 minutes; used for gumbo.

3. Add liquid—preferably warmed to prevent the roux from seizing up. For sauces, cook, stirring constantly, until desired consistency is reached.

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Basic Béchamel (White) Sauce

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A classic French recipe, this creamy sauce thickened with a roux can be used as a base for many other sauces as well as in casseroles and soufflés.

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Mac and Cheese for Grown-ups

Mac and Cheese for Grown-ups

This baked pasta dish is a healthful interpretation of the kids’ favorite.

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Root Vegetables Creole

Root Vegetables Creole

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“First you make a roux” is how many Cajun recipes start, and this Creole sauce is no exception. It gets its distinctive taste from a brown roux to which the “holy trinity” (equal parts chopped green bell pepper, onion, and celery) is added before the rest of the ingredients. (Be

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Blanquette de Tempeh

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Channel your inner Julia Child to make this classic French dish sans veal, the meat that’s usually used. The cream sauce is made with a flavorful cooking broth and a roux, then finished with a little soy creamer. For a more traditional recipe that uses dairy, replace the margarine with

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Dark Chocolate Soufflés

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Most soufflés are made by folding beaten egg whites into a thick béchamel sauce. Having the sauce base boiling hot before folding in the egg whites makes this recipe foolproof, as the soufflés aren’t given a chance to cool off and potentially deflate.

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