When it comes to cooking Cajun cuisine, you better know how to make a roux. Topped only by the holy trinity of bell pepper, green onions and celery, a roux is one of the most critical components of many Cajun recipes – most famously gumbo.
Making a roux is simple in theory, as it just involves browning flour in oil, but it can actually be a bit tricky to prepare correctly if you’re not familiar with how to make it. Fortunately, the Best Stop Supermarket is your one-stop-shop for all things Cajun, including various types of jarred roux.
While jarred roux is convenient, for a day of down-home cooking you’ll want to make your own traditional roux – and we’re here to help you every step of the way so that you can make even tastier Cajun recipes throughout the year.
Making a Light Roux
Light roux, also known as blond roux, is commonly used in dishes like Cajun seafood bisque, etouffee, and cheese dishes. It’s also the most popular roux because it adds body to a wide variety of dishes. A light roux is comprised of just two ingredients: one cup of flour and one stick of unsalted butter.
Like any roux, you’ll want to make a light roux on the stovetop. We recommend cooking over medium heat, as this is the best heat to ensure a quick roux at a manageable temperature.
Start by heating the butter in a pan and letting it melt fully, then begin stirring in your flower – make sure you stir constantly at an even pace, or else you will burn the roux and have to start over. Burnt roux typically has an acrid smell, like burnt popcorn, and it will take on a darker color.
As you add your flower make sure you are stirring evenly, as to avoid lumps. You never want to rush this process (a blonde roux should take approximately 15 – 20 minutes to develop). Once it’s at the desired color, you’ll want to immediately reduce the heat by either adding in vegetables or adding in enough cold water to stop the cooking process (be careful as this can thin the roux significantly).
Making a Cajun Dark Roux
While light roux is popular around the world, you’ll mostly find dark roux only in Cajun and Creole recipes. However, if you want to make a dark roux, the process isn’t that much different than a light roux. The same two ingredients are combined over medium heat, in a gumbo pot or cast-iron skillet.
What makes a dark roux different is primarily that you are going to prepare it longer, as to intentionally overcook it without ever letting it burn. The color will evolve over time, going from white to light brown to a nutty dark brown.
Depending on the amount of roux you are making, this process can take anywhere from 40 minutes to an hour, but it will definitely be worth it! Because of how much longer dark roux takes to prepare compared to blonde roux, it’s incredibly important to not stir too fast, as this can significantly increase the amount of time it takes to brown as well as risk breaking down the roux before it has a chance to thicken. You should aim for a steady stirring speed that leaves no part of the roux unturned.
Once you know how to make a good dark roux, you can make virtually anything in a Cajun cookbook.
You can find a number of specialty meats to use in roux-rich Cajun dishes, including Cajun seafood, andouille sausage, beef steaks, pork chops, fresh sausage, and boudin, from The Best Stop. We can help ensure that your Cajun dishes are authentic, even if you don’t live in Louisiana: we ship around the country, from our online shop, ensuring that you get access to high-quality Cajun ingredients, no matter where you are in the US.