There are as many gumbo recipes as there are cooks, but they all have one thing in common: a rich, dark, slow-cooked roux.
is a slow-cooked combination of flour
and fat (usually butter
that is used as a thickening agent. It's essential for making classic gravies
) as well as Cajun and Creole
specialties such as gumbo
There are three classic roux: white, blond and brown. The color and
flavor is determined by the type of fat used as well as the cooking
The lighter colored roux are made with butter. White roux
is cooked until it just starts to turn beige, while blond roux
is cooked until pale golden. Both are used to thicken creamy white sauces or light soups.
can be made with butter, drippings or pork
fat. It's cooked to a deep golden brown and used for rich, dark soups
and sauces. Cajun and Creole cooks often used a lard
-based roux. Cooked
for up to an hour, this roux turns a dark mahogany color and carries a
Unused roux may be cooled, wrapped and stored in the refrigerator for a later use.
• The standard ratio for making a roux is 6 parts flour to 4 parts fat by weight.
• All-purpose flour
is most often used—the moderate levels of starch
result in moderate thickening. Flours with higher starch
contents will have more thickening power.
• A heavy-bottomed saucepan will ensure heat is conducted evenly and help prevent burning.
• When making delicate white sauces, use clarified butter
(instead of whole butter) for extra smooth results.
Try one of our favorite roux recipes:
Dad's Low(er) Fat Sausage Gravy
Chicken a La King