Archive for » October, 2010 «

Homemade Stock

If you’ve ever wondered what sets New Orleans food apart from the rest of the world, it’s the layers of flavor that go into each dish.  Two of the most important layers are the roux and the stock.  I’ve already posted a bunch about the roux which you can read here: What’s a Roux? How to Make a Roux Top Ten Tips For Mastering a Roux Now for the stock.  This is yet another back-to-basics cooking skill worth the effort. Making stock from scratch is easy, it just takes a little time.  It’s best to plan ahead so you’ll always have a stash of seafood, [ ... ]

Roux: Top 10 Tips For Mastering a Roux

Truth be told, I didn’t learn how to make a dark, rich roux from my family.  My relatives, who are all incredibly talented and passionate cooks, prepare meals with a heavy Creole hand.  So their sauces and gravies generally rely on butter-based white and blond roux.  My mom’s Seafood Gumbo, a recipe handed down from my great-grandmother, also follows Creole lines.  The gumbo is thickened with a light roux and okra and is flavored liberally with tomato sauce.  I was a young adult before I associated the rich, smoky flavors of other gumbos, étouffées and dark gravies with a roux.  [ ... ]

Roux: How to Make a Roux

There are many schools of thought on roux-making. Some cooks prefer the traditional and time-consuming approach of combining the flour and fat at room temperature then gradually increasing the heat until the mixture reaches the proper color and consistency. Others start their roux on the stove top and finish it in the oven. There are also folks who make it in the microwave or cook it dry by browning flour in the oven without any fat. I, on the other hand, have adopted the quick cook method described in Chef Paul Prudhomme’s Louisiana Kitchen.     The quick cook [ ... ]

Roux: What’s a Roux?

“First you make a roux” is that ubiquitous phrase associated with classic New Orleans and South Louisiana dishes.  It’s written about in many cookbooks, debated in lots of food circles and feared by many professional and home cooks.  But what exactly is a roux (pronounced “roo”)?  Well, a roux  is nothing more than fat and flour cooked together to a desired color and thickening capability used to enhance stocks and other liquids.  The concept is simple, but the flavor, texture and color a roux lends to a dish is anything but! Since roux is the cornerstone of New Orleans cooking, learning [ ... ]