Hey, there! If you’ve been following my blog, or have known me for any amount of time, you know that I’m not big on “fancy.” So, it may catch you off-guard to see some random French culinary term in one of my post titles.
Well, though the term “roux” may sound fancy, the art of making it is definitely not! It’s quick and easy, and is made up of only 2 ingredients! It is equal parts fat (usually butter or oil) and flour. THAT’S IT!!!
A roux can be used to thicken any sauce from soups and stews to casseroles and more! Ever since I learned how to make one, I find myself using them ALL THE TIME! They are so easy and only take a couple of minutes to make.
So why should you know how to make a roux? So that you can make creamy and/or cheesy sauces from scratch without having to rely on a can full of processed, unpronounceable filler ingredients. (You can start eating REAL food again!!!)
Also, in my case, I make my roux from margarine and flour that are gluten, soy and dairy free. This way I can FINALLY eat creamy sauces again!!! Learning to make a roux has opened up a whole new world for me when it comes to the flavor and texture of the food that I am able to eat!
So, let’s get down to business! Here’s how you make a roux:
- Melt 2 Tbsp. of butter or margarine (or heat up 2 Tbsp. oil) over medium-low heat in a saucepan. (*Note: The exact amount of butter or oil that you use doesn’t matter, as long as you use about the same amount of flour. I find 2 Tbsp. to be a good amount for a casserole that feeds at least 4-5 people.)
- Once butter is melted or oil is hot, add an equal amount of flour and stir constantly with a whisk for about a minute (just to get the raw flour taste out.) It should look like this:
THAT’S IT! YOU’RE DONE! See, now that wasn’t so hard, was it?
“Now,” you ask, “how does this become a creamy sauce?” I’m so glad you asked!!! At this point, all that you need to do to make this a sauce is add milk (or a milk substitute- I like to use ricemilk) and season it up however you want! For a cheesy sauce, add in whatever flavor shredded cheese you like. No need to measure it. Just add a handful at a time and whisk until it melts. When the taste and texture are the way you want them, you’ve added enough cheese. 🙂
I also never measure the milk when I add it in. I just pour in about 1/2 cup to 1 cup at a time and whisk until it thickens. If it’s too thick, I add a little more milk and repeat the process as needed. If it’s too thin, I either cook it longer to allow it to thicken up or mix up a little more roux and toss it in. Here’s how my cream sauces usually look when they’re done:
Note: The sauce will thicken more the longer it is on the heat. Even if it appears to be too thin at first, let it cook a few minutes and see if it thickens up before adding more roux. Remember to keep whisking.
This method of making cream sauces is very forgiving! No need to measure or be exact at any point in this recipe. It is also super versatile! I use this method to make mac n cheese, potato soup, cheesy casseroles, cream of chicken sauce and more! I encourage you to give it a try sometime and see what you’ve been missing!
If you have questions or comments about this recipe (or anything else!) please email me at email@example.com. Have a great day!