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Food Porn Friday: Roux the day

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo using a dark roux, in the Prejean's Restaurant fashion.

The saying goes, "Ask 100 Louisiana cooks how to make a roux, and you'll get 100 different answers."

When I was recently making a turkey-bone gumbo with Thanksgiving leftovers, my mother was confused by the way I started my roux by getting the oil very hot in the pan, then adding the flour a little at a time.  When it subsequently burned (hey, it happens to everyone at some point, right?), she had me try it her way: Mix the flour and oil together in the cold saucepan, then turn on the heat and start stirring. It came out beautifully.

And those are only two ways.  A friend of mine actually bakes hers in the oven -- removing every 15 minutes or so to stir -- and I've even heard rumors of a roux cooked in the microwave, of all things. Not to mention the variety of stirring implements used for your gumbo or étouffée thickener:  Wire whip?  Wooden spoon?  Chopsticks?

How do you do that voodoo that you do so well?  What's the secret to the perfect roux?

Native New Orleans food writer Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore and a blog by the same name, has written for GourmetEdible BrooklynThe Faster Times, and other publications. His Food Porn Friday column for NolaVie offers a weekly mouth-watering photo designed to start culinary conversations in the Big Easy. Catch his weekly food column for The Advocate here.


Native New Orleans food writer Scott Gold, author of The Shameless Carnivore, has written for Gourmet, The New Orleans Advocate, Gambit, ThrillistEdible Brooklyn, Tasting Table, The Faster Times, and other publications. His Food Porn Friday column for NolaVie offers a weekly mouth-watering photo essay designed to start culinary conversations in the Big Easy. Find him on Twitter @scottgold.