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Old 11-09-2005, 11:07 AM   #11
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Your procedure seems pretty spot-on to me.

Yes, the fat/flour mixture looks like a paste, but it helps to smash it with a wooden spoon or spatula while it cooks to smooth it before youincorporate the liquid.

Whisking the liquid into the fat and flour is how you rid yourself of lumps. Whisk and whisk and use an actual whisk.
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:25 AM   #12
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After whisking the flour into the butter, I may let it cook a little to get a nutty flavor, but I cheat - I remove from the heat while drizzling in and whisking the milk, (probably very unprofessional) or else I also get lumps. When all the milk is incorporated, I put it back on the heat and watch closely, whisking frequently until the milk gets really hot and the sauce thickens.
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:40 AM   #13
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Thanks for the help, I'll try that the next time and see if it helps any.
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Old 11-09-2005, 11:43 AM   #14
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wanting nicely caramelized veggies, and a med dark roux without lumps, I always use two pans and combine after brothing. as to the fat, generally a butter canola oil mix 50-50. If it's roux for a gravy then it's animal fat (whatever I'm roasting)
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Old 11-09-2005, 12:36 PM   #15
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foodfiend:
Your describing a bechamel sauce,which is a roux based sauce with milk added.You need to scald the milk before adding to the roux.I always use
vegetables,herbs and some nutmeg to flavour the sauce.You need to simmer the bechamel for about 20 to 30 minutes,strain without pushing down on the
veg and then strain through a cheescloth for the best results.

Also the amount of roux your making would be for 2 cups of milk,not 1.Like I said it's important to strain
this sauce,it's the very smooth mouthfeel that you want to achieve,and cheesecloth is definately the way to go.Of course if it's not a sauce and the bechamel base is for a souffle for example you might not need the cheescloth,but still strain to get rid of any pits of flour or veg.
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:06 PM   #16
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In addition to the above, med-high sounds a little hot for a roux. You might try turning the heat down a bit.
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:12 PM   #17
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The amount of liquid depends on what you want the consistency of the final product to be.

2/2/1cup is a pretty basic sauce proportion. 2 cups of liquid would be more like a soup base.

Herbs and such are good, depending on what the final product will be used for.

This was probably the first thing my mother taught me how to make, when I was about 5. I have never strained my sauce. I suppose you could if you really wanted velvety-smooth sauce, but I have never found that necessary when cooking at home.
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Old 11-09-2005, 02:12 PM   #18
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No you sure don't have to strain the sauce.I always saute veg and then add the flour so in my case I always strain,and I always have made this for a restaurant kitchen and mouthfeel is important.If I was making a basic
bechamel for home I probably wouldn't go through all that trouble either,but
just in case someone out there would like a different approach,there it is.
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Old 11-09-2005, 06:21 PM   #19
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That's what I call a white sauce, FoodFiend. You should lower the heat before you add the liquid, or even take the pan off the burner, while you stir it in a little at a time. Once it's smooth, put it back on the burner on medium heat and cook, stirring, until thickened.
I use 1 tbl fat/1tbl flour/one cup milk as a basic rule for my sauces and gravies. The mixture will thicken as you cook it. I don't scald my milk, and have good luck, so I guess it's just what you're used to. For soups, I add two cups of liquid.
If I am sauteing vegies, I do that in the fat before I add the flour.

When making a dark roux, though, I brown the roux before I add the vegies. That's what Ms. Bordis taught me, and I don't vary much from her instructions.
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Old 11-09-2005, 07:13 PM   #20
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I let the flour sit in the pan for awhile to get the nutty taste. Don't mix flour until after a couple min. Just let it sit in the pan.
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