recipes of the day 04/29/04......tribute to the roux....

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by snorton938, Apr 28, 2004.

  1. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    there was so much passion displayed on one of our prior posts, "if you don't have time to make a roux" that i thought we'd dedicate a thread just to roux based foods. first here is a good roux article from this months gourmet magazine:

    "in the thick of it" by cheryl brown (how coincidental)

    As any Louisiana native will tell you, roux is on of the cornerstones of Cajun cooking. This simple combination of flour and fat has been a staple of French sauces for hundresds of years. (Sometime back in the 18th century, the word roux - meaning "rouge" - was adopted into European culinary parlance to describe flour that had been cooked long enough to turn a reddish color.) When the technique was brought over to Louisiana, it instantly found its place in the cooking culture and, afer a little tinkering, became the base for a new hybrid of piquant sauces and lively gravies.

    In most of GOURMET's recipes, the main purpose of a roux is to thicken liquid. The flour is cooked in butter, oil, or rendered fat for just a couple of minutes to get rid of the raw, pasty taste (the color remains pale). The flour to fat ratio is typically one to one, but it can vary depending on the recipe and the cook's preference. Then a liquid (usually stock, milk, or water) is added, and the mixture is brought to a boil: As the heat increases, the starch molecules within each granule of flour begin to move rapidly and absorb liquid. When a certain temperature is reached, the molecules have become so saturated that they explode and release their starches into the liquid, thus thickening it.

    When i first read our chicken stew recipe, I was startled to note that the roux cooks for up to 20 minutes. "Won't it burn?" I asked, revealing total ignorance of all things Cajun. "No, no," I was assured. "A dark brown roux is what gives the stew a deep, almost toasted flavor. Just keep the heat gentle and keep the roux moving. Twenty minutes is nothing - some Cajun roux cook for forty-five minutes to an hour."

    Interestingly, the darker a roux gets, the less it thickens - the long exposure to heat breaks down the starch, so there aren't many molecules left to absorb liquid.

    When making the roux, sprinkle the flour evenly over the hot fat in the pot, then immediately begin scraping the mixture back and forth with a flat wooden or metal spatula. Many recipes tell you to stir or whisk, but using the bottom edge of the spatula allows you to move more of the roux at once, so it will brown more evenly and there will we less chance of scorching. Loosen up the brown bits from the chicken stuck to the bottom of the pot - they will add flavor and nudge the roux toward the darker hue.

    But isn't standing at the stove waiting for the flour to go from beige to chocolate brown a bit tedious? Our cooks claim that's the spirit of a Cajun roux. "It's sort of cathartic - for twenty minutes you can't do anything else....though it doesn't hurt to have a cold bottle of beer within reach."

    snort's note: here is one of the oldest recipes i could find using a roux:
  2. cadillacattack

    cadillacattack Illegitimi non carborundum est

    Oct 15, 2003
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    I'm no expert on making a good Roux, although my father is quite good at it. One of the things he recommends, above all else, is a heavy, cast-iron, deep-bottomed skillet. I usually use a dutch oven and that seems to limit scorching or burning. Seems to be one of those things you get better at if you do it more frequently.......
  3. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    practice makes perfect. it's almost like painting. i highly recommend putting on your favorite music and having your favorite beer or wine handy.
  4. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    for our first roux based recipe courtesy of GOURMET magazine's very early mother's day special:

    cajun chicken stew

    "when i was growing up in louisiana, nothing made my mouth water like the smell of onion, bell pepper, and celery cooking in my mom's dark cajun roux. for maximum flavor, use the whole chicken and leave any fat attached."

    3-6 tbl vegetable oil
    1 (3-3 1/2 lb) chicken, cut into serving pieces
    2 1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 cup all-purpose flour
    1 medium onion, chopped
    1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
    1 celery rib, chopped
    3 cups water or stock
    1/4 tsp (or whatever) cayenne to taste
    3/4 cup thinly sliced scallion greens

    accompaniment: cooked white rice

    Heat 3 tbl oil in a 4 to 5 qt heavy pot (preferably cast-iron) over moderate high heat until hot but not smoking pat chicken dry and sprinkle with salt. brown chicken in 4 batches turning, about 5 minutes per batch, transferring as browned to a large bowl.

    add enough of remaining oil to pot to total 1/4 cup fat, then stir in flour with a flat metal or wooden spatula and cook over moderate low heat, scraping back and forth constantly (not stirring), until roux is the color of milk chocolate, 10 to 20 minutes. add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook scraping back and forth occasionally, until onion is softened (snort's note: make this pretty occasional stirring), about 8 minutes.

    add water or stock to roux mixture and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally until roux is incorporated. (roux will appear curdled initially but will come together as it reaches a boil.) add chicken and any juices accumulated in bowl, then simmer, partially covered until chicken is cooked through, 30-35 minutes. stir in cayenne, scallion greens, and salt.

    cooks note: stew improves in flavor if made 1 day ahead (without scallion greens) and cooled completely, uncovered, then chilled, covered reheat, then stir in scallion greens.
  5. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    Crawfish Étouffée

    One of the many special events of the festival was an étouffée cooking demonstration saturday afternoon. Literally "smothered crawfish," crawfish étouffée (prononuced ) consists of aromatic vegetables and crawfish meat smothered in a savory roux-based sauce and served over rice.

    Cy and his brother gave us a taste of Acadian charm and delicious étouffée. While sipping a beer, Cy joked that in Acadia, when making an étouffée, the first thing you need to do is marinate the chef. So, in the spirit of Cajun Country, be sure to pour yourself a glass before you get started!

    This recipe can be adjusted to add more crawfish. All of the quantities stay the same, except where noted (garlic, flour & butter). Just adjust the amount for each of those for each pound of crawfish you add.

    2 lbs. fresh crawfish tails
    2 medium onions, finely chopped
    1 1/2 bell peppers, finely chopped
    2 teaspoons garlic (1 teaspoon per pound per pound of crawfish)
    2 tablespoons flour (1 tablespoon per pound of crawfish)
    1 stick margarine or butter (1/2 a stick per pound of crawfish)
    salt and pepper or your favorite season-all (try Tony Chachere's) to taste
    cooked white rice

    Melt butter or margarine at low heat.

    Add onions, bell pepper and garlic. Sauté slowly at very low heat (this gives the chef plenty of time to marinate) until onions are transparent.

    Add flour, stirring frequently to prevent lumps and sticking.

    Add crawfish tails and season to taste. Cover and cook for 15 minutes stirring frequently. Serve hot over rice.
  6. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    here's a seafood gumbo recipe with alot of interesting commentary:

    Whenever you need to recline, relax, lay back, unwind, and take the time to recharge your batteries, what could be more appropriate than a steaming bowl of no-holds-barred seafood gumbo? So, here's the recipe for a fulsomely-flavored Epicurean taste-fest sensation sufficient to cause the most sophisticated of gastronomes to start salivating surreptitiously and to make a grown man break down and cry. Beware! If you're under 21, male, or a politician, don't attempt to do anything on the culinary front without your mother's permission and supervision, because kitchens contain sharp things, hot things, and a variety of other potentially dangerous things!

    This pert little beauty will pulsate promiscuously across your pallet and pummel it with a passion, titillate your taste buds and have them tap-dancing the tango on your tongue, reverberate and resonate resoundingly throughout your nervous system, and warm the cockles of your heart

    In short, this frisky little number will grab you by the short-and-curlies, swing you sybaritically around the room in a syncopated symphony of delight, and leave you groveling on your knees, gnashing your teeth, and gasping for more. The following ingredients are for the main body of the gumbo - you'll have to sort out any rice, bread, and side dishes for yourselves:

    2 cups of diced onions, 2 bay leaves,
    1.5 cups of diced green bell peppers, 0.5 teaspoons of dried thyme leaves,
    1 cup of diced celery, 0.25 teaspoons of dried oregano
    2 cups of halved button mushrooms, 0.5 teaspoons of salt,
    3 large cloves of finely diced garlic, 1.5 teaspoons of white pepper,
    2 finely diced habañeros (hot peppers), 0.5 teaspoons of cayenne pepper,
    10 thick-cut slices of bacon, 0.5 teaspoons of black pepper,
    1 pound of Cajun-style sausage, 2 teaspoons of Gumbo File,
    1 pound of peeled, medium-sized shrimp, 5.5 cups of chicken stock,
    0.5 pound of scallops, Lots of butter,
    0.75 pound white fish cut into slices, 0.75 cup flour,
    1 small tin of anchovies, 1 bottle of dry sherry

    If you can't get Cajun-style sausage, then Polish sausage will do nicely. Note that the teaspoon quantities in the list of ingredients do not refer to level measures, nor do we expect you to attempt to achieve a new world record for the amount you can balance on one spoon - just try to aim for roughly the same sensuously-rounded profile you get when you're casually spooning sugar into a cup of coffee (except in the case of the cayenne pepper ... you should try to err on the side of caution here). So, without further ado, let's gird up our loins (Good golly Miss Molly, that felt good - how was it for you?) and proceed to the fray:

    First of all, there's an art to cooking, and it starts by doing the washing up you've been putting off all day and putting all of the pots away.

    Grill the bacon until it's crispy and crunchy, then put it on a plate to cool and set it to one side.

    Prepare all of the vegetables, mushrooms, scotch bonnets, and garlic - put them all in separate bowls except for the scotch bonnets and garlic which can go together.

    Chop the Cajun-style sausage into half-inch pieces, then put them in a bowl and set it to one side.

    Mix the salt, thyme, oregano, Gumbo File, and the white, black, and cayenne peppers together in a cup and set it to one side (you'll need your hands free later).

    Wash up all of the knives, chopping boards, and everything else you've used and put them all away, then wipe down all of your working surfaces. Trust us - you'll feel better when everything is clean and tidy - have we ever lied to you?

    Put the chicken stock into a large chili pan and bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat to a low, slow simmer and leave it on the back burner

    Using a medium to medium-high heat, melt three-quarters of a cup of butter in a large, heavy skillet until it starts to bubble. Gradually add the flour using a whisk and stir constantly until the resulting roux is a dark-ish, red-ish brown. Remove the skillet from the heat, but keep on stirring until it's cooled down enough so that the mixture won't stick to it and burn.

    Maintain the stock at a low simmer and add the mixture that you've just made, stirring it in one spoonful at a time, and waiting for each spoonful to dissolve before adding the next.

    Clean the skillet, put it on a medium-high to high heat, and melt a chunk of butter. Stirring all the time, saute the celery for one minute, add the bell peppers and saute for one and a half minutes, add the onions and saute for one and a half minutes, then add the scotch bonnets and garlic along with the mixture of herbs, salt, and pepper and saute for one more minute. Finally, add a slosh of sherry and keep stirring until it's all evaporated, then chuck the whole lot into the chili pan with the stock (you can drink the rest of the sherry later).

    Break the bacon into half-inch pieces and toss them into the stock, followed by the Cajun-style sausage and the bay leaves. Also, should you be fortunate enough to happen to have any lying around, add a couple of teaspoons of English Worcestershire sauce. Cover the chili pan and leave on a low simmer.

    Return the skillet to a medium-high to high heat and melt another chunk of butter. Saute the mushrooms until they're golden brown and squealing for more, then use them to swell the contents of the chili pan.

    Simmer the whole mixture (stirring often) for at least one hour which, by some strange quirk of fate, will give you all the time you need to wash the skillet and the dishes you used and put them away again. If you're ravenous then you can proceed immediately to the next step but, if you're wise, you'll remove the heat and leave your cunningly captivating creation to stand overnight (chilies, stews, curries, and gumbos always taste better if the ingredients have the time to formally introduce themselves). When you're ready to chow-down, heat it back up again and proceed to the next step.

    Add the shrimp, scallops, and fish. Bring to the boil then return to a simmer. Maintain the simmer until the seafood is cooked (we personally opt for around fifteen minutes just to make sure) and you're just about ready to rock and roll.

    This pert little beauty will put hairs on your chest, make them curl, and then take them off again. Seriously, this gumbo really is seductively, scintillatingly, scorchingly spicy - so if you like your dishes less on the humongously hot side, then lose one of the scotch bonnets and only use three-quarters of the stated amounts of the white, black, and cayenne peppers.

    You can serve your gorgeously gigantean gourmet gumbo over steamed or boiled rice, with crusty French bread, or with whatever else your hearts' desire. The quantities given above will serve six to eight manly-man sized portions with a little something left over for the following day. Of course, no meal would be complete without some wine -- and the perfect complement to your rapacious repast is to be found in ...... a very large bottle -- Enjoy!
  7. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    now for a little less "hype" and more down to the is the king of kings.....gumbo ya ya:

    This dish was invented by chef Paul Prudhomme at the legendary New Orleans eatery, K-Paul, in the 1970s. He says its so good, it makes you say YaYa! This is my version of this great dish.

    1 chicken , cut up
    2 tablespoons Creole seasoning
    2 1/2 cups flour
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 cups onions, coarsely chopped
    1 1/2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
    2 cups green pepper, coarsely chopped
    6 cups chicken broth
    1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
    1 pound andouille sausage finely, diced (or any spicy sausage such as Kielbasa)
    4 cups hot cooked rice

    Cut chicken breasts in half crosswise to get a total of 10 pieces of chicken. Season with Creole seasoning. Measure flour into a large paper bag. Add chicken pieces and shake until well-coated. Remove chicken and reserve the flour.

    In a large skillet, brown chicken in very hot oil, remove and set aside. Stir oil remaining in the skillet with a wire whisk to loosen any brown particles remaining in the bottom of the pan. Make a roux by whisking in 1 cup of the remaining flour and stiring constantly until the roux turns a dark brown. Remove from heat; add onions, celery and green bell pepper, stirring constantly until vegetables are tender.

    Transfer roux and vegetables to a Dutch oven. Add stock to roux and vegetables and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and add garlic, sausage and chicken. Continue cooking, covered, until the chicken is tender, 1 3/4 to 2 hours.
    Adjust seasonings and serve in bowls over the rice.

    Serves 10.
  8. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    Hannah's shrimp gumbo for six.
    This MainCourse recipe was created by my Moma.

    2 lbs. fresh shrimp, deveined
    4 cups slicled smoke sausage
    3 cups sauteed young okra
    4 green onions, chopped
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
    2 large, fresh tomatoes,chopped
    1 red pepper, chopped
    1 small green pepper, chopped
    3 tbls. roux 9 made from 1/4 cup veg. oil and 1/4 cup flour red pepper, salt and pepper vinegar to taste hot sauce optional...but is it really Cajun w/o it? 2 cups uncooked white or brown rice (prefer white.

    Directions: Use roux to make watery soup based. Pour in all ingredients and simmer for about one hour this is the very easy way.
  9. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    in addition to the roux, here are the other bases for creating the "five mother sauces" in cooking:

    Defining The Five Mother Sauces:

    Béchamel, the classic white sauce, was named after its inventor, Louis XIV's steward Louis de Béchamel. The king of all sauces, it is often referred to as a cream sauce because of its appearance and is probably used most frequently in all types of dishes. Made by stirring milk into a butter-flour roux, the thickness of the sauce depends on the proportion of flour and butter to milk. The proportions for a thin sauce would be 1 tablespoon each of butter and flour per 1 cup of milk; a medium sauce would use 2 tablespoons each of butter and flour; a thick sauce, 3 tablespoons each.

    Velouté is a stock-based white sauce. It can be made from chicken, veal or fish stock. Enrichments such as egg yolks or cream are sometimes also added.

    Espagnole, or brown sauce, is traditionally made of a rich meat stock, a mirepoix of browned vegetables (most often a mixture of diced onion, carrots and celery), a nicely browned roux, herbs and sometimes tomato paste.

    Hollandaise and Mayonnaise are two sauces that are made with an emulsion of egg yolks and fat. Hollandaise is made with butter, egg yolks and lemon juice, usually in a double boiler to prevent overheating, and served warm. It is generally used to embellish vegetables, fish and egg dishes, such as the classic Eggs Benedict. Mayonnaise is a thick, creamy dressing that's an emulsion of vegetable oil, egg yolks, lemon juice or vinegar and seasonings. It is widely used as a spread, a dressing and as a sauce. It's also used as the base for such mixtures as Tartar Sauce, Thousand Island Dressing, Aïoli, and Remoulade.

    Vinagrette is a sauce made of a simple blend of oil, vinegar, salt and pepper (usually 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar). More elaborate variations can include any combination of spices, herbs, shallots, onions, mustard, etc. It is generally used to dress salad greens and other cold vegetable, meat or fish dishes.

    Tips for Sauce Success:

    Constantly stir roux-thickened sauces while cooking to prevent lumps. If you must leave the sauce for a few seconds, set the pan off the heat during that time.

    If a roux-thickened sauce develops a few lumps, beat them out with a rotary beater or wire whisk. As a last resort, strain sauce with sieve to remove lumps.

    Cook egg-thickened sauces over low heat, or cook these sauces in the top of a double boiler over hot, not boiling, water. Always temper (warm) the egg yolks before adding them to the sauce by first stirring in a little of the hot sauce mixture into them. Then add to the remainder of the sauce mixture. Never let a sauce boil after the egg yolks are added as the sauce may curdle.

    Don't let water boil in the bottom of the double boiler if you use it to make egg-thickened sauces. Also, be sure that the water doesn't touch the bottom of the pan holding the sauce.
  10. snorton938

    snorton938 Founding Member

    Feb 5, 2004
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    onto more recipes: here is a roux based shrimp creole recipe....

    Authentic Spicy Shrimp Creole

    A New Orleans original! True comfort food for any cajun. I dug this recipe up for *Denise*. I'm not sure where it came from but I think it is my sister's.

    3 lbs shrimp, peeled
    3 small bell peppers, diced
    1 (6.00 ounces) can tomato paste
    1 bunch green onion, chopped
    2-3 cloves garlic, chopped fine
    3/4 cup vegetable oil (or canola)
    4 tablespoons flour
    1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (tabasco)
    4-5 cups boiling water
    salt and pepper
    cajun seasoning

    1. Over medium heat make a roux with the vegetable oil and flour.
    2. Stir continuously until the roux is the color of a paper bag.
    3. Add bell pepper, garlic, green onions and tabasco.
    4. Keep cooking until the veggies get soft.
    5. Add the tomato paste and the water, making sure to mix well.
    6. Add shrimp,cover and simmer for about 15 minutes over low heat, making sure to stir every once and a while.
    7. Uncover and cook until desired consistancy.
    8. Add salt and pepper to taste and cajun seasoning if desired.
    9. Serve over hot white rice with french bread on the side to soak up the juices.

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