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Old 08-19-2006, 10:28 AM  
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Join Date: Jul 2006
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Originally Posted by FryBoy
BC, I would love to have your recipe for these two dishes -- which I assume is similar to your mom's.

Pretty please?
the majority of your gumbo taste will come from these factors, not necessarily in this order though...

1. fresh seafood & a good seafood stock (use the shrimp heads)

2. the roux needs to be dark & rich but NOT burned... IMO, you want it at least the color of a hershey's chocolate bar; use bacon grease or vegetable oil, or go dry (best).

3. cook the gumbo at least 12 hours before you plan to eat it... let those flavors mix well.

for the crab stew, you only need some good, spicy boiled crabs. clean them from the main body and simply saute some celery, bell pepper, and onion and add-in about 4 tablespoons of roux. add a little water or seafood stock and let it cook down to the thickness you like. add-in the boiled crabs to warm them and serve.

after plating with rice, you might want to dump a nice spoonful of butter-sauteed lump crab meat on top.

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Old 08-19-2006, 12:29 PM  
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Roux without fat is Blasphemy

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Old 08-19-2006, 12:34 PM  
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I've never heard of the browned flour roux. It sounds great to me. Would be so nice to keep on hand and add to many things that need a punch of flavor. Thanks so much for posting it.
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Old 08-19-2006, 02:39 PM  
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Originally Posted by black chef
tonight, i'm making chicken fricasee using guess what? a dry roux.
And I would love to have your recipe for chicken fricasse, if you don't mind posting it.

I can't believe it, but I'm pretty sure I've never made that dish!


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Old 08-20-2006, 01:09 PM  
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A few notes on dry roux (or 'browned flour' as some here feel compelled to call it )

First, oil turns flour a few shades darker, so if you take the flour to a brown paper bag color, when you add fat to it, the color will actually be quite a bit darker than that. You always want to take dry roux to a shade or two lighter than it's wet counterpart. Black chef, that could be why your Mother's dishes were so much better- by toasting the dry roux to the same color as if it had been wet, she's toasting it quite a bit more.

Fat/oil is an excellent conductor of heat. When you make a butter/flour roux, the butter carries a great deal of heat to the particles of flour not in contact with the pan and, in turn, the flour cooks much more evenly. In a dry situation, it's extremely easy to have some browned granules and some completely raw. Although raw flour isn't the end of the world (it's used in beurre manie), it's not as tasty as browned. So, toasting the flour evenly helps the flavor in your end product. The only way that I found that browns the flour perfectly evenly is to lower the heat and stir the flour like a madman. Baking can be problematic when it comes to even toasting, even with frequent stirring.

Should you decide to add dry roux to sauces without combining with fat first (for fat free cooking) the fat in regular roux keeps the starch granules separate when they hit the liquid so they don't clump. Without it, dry roux has a tendency to clump like crazy. Three things help:

room temp or cooler liquid/cool dry roux
whisking like crazy as you slowly sprinkle in the roux
cooking the sauce a little longer to help the clumps break down

As far as storing dry roux in a jar for extended periods of time... I wouldn't. Flour contains trace amounts of fat. Fat + air + heat + time = rancidity. When you toast it making the roux, you shorten it's shelf life considerably. I've tried storing dry roux in a glass jar and when I opened it a few weeks later, I had rancid flour on my hands. Not recommended.
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Old 08-20-2006, 05:11 PM  
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Originally Posted by scott123
In a dry situation, it's extremely easy to have some browned granules and some completely raw.... The only way that I found that browns the flour perfectly evenly is to lower the heat and stir the flour like a madman. Baking can be problematic when it comes to even toasting, even with frequent stirring.
Thanks for the additional information -- very helpful.

As I said in my initial post, I browned the flour in a nonstick fry pan rather then in the oven. I found that I could flip it quite easily, and it thus browned very evenly.

One suggestion on lumps: a hand blender. I resisted such gadgets for years but finally bought one made by KitchenAid, and I love it! You could put rocks in the sauce and that thing would pulverize them in 2 seconds. Of course, you need to do that separately from the veggies or meat unless you want puree of whatever.

As for storage, I intend to will make new on the few occasions I need it -- one big advantage of dry or oil-less roux is that it's simple and quick to make, nearly idiot proof.
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Old 08-21-2006, 10:32 AM  
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Years ago, this is how I started 'gravy' for my customers who were watching their weight - gave great flavor and I could control the fat content.

I think I'd be afraid to store it tho.

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