Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Kitchen Basics - Le Roux

Not everyone grew up in a house where hanging out in the kitchen was the norm and your mum showed you the basics of home cooking. So now and again, I will provide some simple cooking skills and tips for those of you who don't know. For those who do, we'll see you tomorrow.

First we'll start with a roux, so let's make a deal. I'll teach you this and then you'll stop using packet white and cheese sauces OK? Deal!

There are two kinds of roux; blonde and brown. Brown just means you cook the flour and butter for longer until it changes colour.

A roux is the basis for white or bechamel sauce, and once you have a white sauce you simply add grated cheese to make cheese sauce. See? This stuff is easy.

You might make the following to add to lasagne, or put some bitey, mature cheddar in for cauliflower cheese. The quantities below will make about 1 cup of sauce.


30gms butter
30gms plain flour
1 1/2 cups milk

Melt the butter in a pot. Add the flour and stir together for a couple of minutes until it binds together and looks like a paste. THIS IS THE ROUX.

Gradually add the milk and stir constantly, this will ensure you don't get any lumps. Keep stirring until the sauce starts to thicken and simmer. Don't let it boil, just turn down the heat as low as it can go and let it simmer away for about 5 minutes. Once you turn the heat off it will thicken very quickly so if it is very thick already you may want to add a tiny bit more milk. THIS IS BECHAMEL.

If you are having a bash at cauliflower cheese, stir in the cheese just before you turn the heat down and make sure it's all melted before you reduce the heat.
That's it. Too easy!


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