I was amused when a food blogger did not know what a roux was. I like the blog and for information I mentioned that a roux is one the components needed to make or thicken sauce.
A roux is a foundation, a must of French culinary techniques. It is made with equal part butter and flour. The amount is up to the recipe and in accordance with the quantity and the sauce thickness needed.
A sauce is made, not all sauces, by adding a very hot or boiling liquid such as water, milk, or stock to a cold roux until the desired thickness is reached. When done correctly the end result never has lumps.
A white sauce is made with milk. In French the sauce is called béchamel, let me provide you with a gourmet recipe to make 1 litre of white sauce. A simple white sauce or béchamel sauce will only have a roux and milk.
- A whisk
- 50 to 70 gr of wheat flour
- 50 to 70 gr of butter
- 1 litre of regular milk
- 1 small onion
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 crushed garlic clove
- A sprig of fresh thyme
- Salt and white pepper to taste.
- Melt 50 to 70 gr of butter in a small pan over medium fire. Add 50 to 70 gr of flour and mix thoroughly until its bubble up. Cook for another 1 minute but do not let the mixture color. Put the roux aside to cool.
- Pour 1 litre of milk in a pot, the small onion peeled and quartered, 1 bay leaf, 1 crushed garlic clove, a sprig of thyme a dash of salt and white pepper to taste. Let it simmer slowly, very slowly, in order to infuse the milk with the herbs fragrances, to the boiling point. Filter the milk mixture.
- Put the cold roux in a pot add the boiling or very hot filtered milk and under slow medium heat whisk until the roux nicely dissolves, cook at least 2 to five minutes. The sauce is ready when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
Tip: Be creative – Add mustard for a mustard sauce. Add egg yolks and cheese (Gruyère or Emmental) for a Mornay sauce. Add herbs for herb sauce. Substitute milk with chicken or beef stock. Use the white sauce technique to make cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom.