Preparing Different Roux for Specific Dishes

Roux pic

Roux
Image: allrecipes.com

Jason Altzman serves as the managing principal of Aero Marketing Group, a promotional and specialty events agency based in Phoenix, Arizona. When he’s not busy overseeing the company’s daily operations, Jason Altzman enjoys cooking.

A roux, a basic cooking technique that every home chef should know, is made from flour and fat and used to thicken soups, gravies, sauces, and other dishes. Unlike other thickening agents, roux is smoother, more stable, and more delicate and can be varying consistencies and colors.

White roux is the lightest colored roux, which is made by mixing flour with butter or oil. It is cooked for a very short amount of time, usually two to three minutes or until the flour’s raw flavor is cooked out. This keeps the white color of the roux and allows it to be used in white sauces, such as bechamel.

Blonde roux, also known as golden or yellow roux, is cooked a bit longer until the roux has caramelized slightly. This takes roughly three to five minutes. This type of roux is the most commonly used because of its balanced taste and flavor. Soups, stews, and sauces frequently use blonde roux as a thickening agent.

When a roux is cooked for around ten minutes it develops a dark brown color and has a sharp aroma, which is why it’s referred to as brown roux. This thickening agent is often used to create brown sauces or gravies. When the flour is cooked this long, its ability to thicken liquids is degraded, which means that brown roux does not thicken dishes as much as white or blonde roux.

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Three Tips for New Cooks

Cooking pic

Cooking
Image: foodnetwork.com

A marketing professional, Jason Altzman joined the Aero Marketing Group in 2004 and oversees operations and client relations as a managing principal. In his spare time, Jason Altzman enjoys cooking.

If you are new to cooking, consider these tips from esteemed chefs and food television personalities.

1. Cook pasta properly.

Instead of boiling pasta as directed by package instructions, cook it one minute less. According to Iron Chef America Mario Batali, you should cook your pasta for the last minute in the sauce until al dente.

2. Use schmaltz.

Also known as chicken fat, schmaltz creates richness when added to a dish. The ingredient has a deeper flavor than duck fat and works well for poaching fish. Chef Tony Maws of Craigie On Main states that it complements nearly all recipes.

3. Sprinkle salt and pepper like it is snowing.

Harvest Chef Mary Dumont says you should sprinkle salt and pepper like it is snowing. Making sure to evenly coat your meat and fish, this method reduces the likelihood of creating clumps of spice that result in overseasoning one particular area.