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Old 02-29-2008, 02:09 PM   #1
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Roux and milk - what went wrong?

I wanted to make a cheese sauce for mac and cheese and so I heated oil in a pan until it was super hot. Then I added my flour and went brown really quickly. Not sure if that's advisable for a cheese sauce... does it matter? Anyway, the real problems came when I added the milk. I was supposed to whisk in a bit at a time but when I added a little it turned to steam so I had to tip the whole thing in, too cool the pan down, you know? So in went all the milk and then the brown roux turned into lots of little brown bits floating around in the milk. I just kept stirring and stirring and eventually they transformed into very small brown bits floating around in the milk. After adding the cheese, things appeared to be more homogenous. I'll be eating my creation shortly.

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Old 02-29-2008, 02:28 PM   #2
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The 'super hot' was the problem. In my opinion you basically burned the flour. You need to make a roux on medium heat - it is a gentle process.
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by auntdot View Post
The 'super hot' was the problem. In my opinion you basically burned the flour. You need to make a roux on medium heat - it is a gentle process.
My macaroni and cheese is brown
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:50 PM   #4
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Brown your rue on a medium to medium-high temp. Once it reaches the desired color you are looking for, then add cold milk. When I am making gravy or what not, I add the entire measure of milk that I will be using and use a spatula to remove the rue bits from the bottom and sides of the pan. You may see some clumping, but they will break up as the mixture heats through. Bring just to a boil and reduce heat. Did you add cheese to your sauce/gravy?
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Old 02-29-2008, 02:53 PM   #5
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I add the fat (butter or oil) and the flour to a cold pan, then gently heat it up on medium heat whisking until warm and smooth. Then I have time to cook it to the desired color/flavor or add my milk.

Cold pan first, fat and flour together, whisk.

Also, add more fat if the roux is too thick and clumpy. You want a smooth creamy texture before you add the milk or whatever.
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:00 PM   #6
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I agree that the oil was too hot. I accidentally get my grease too hot for gravies.

I've never made roux for my mac & cheese. My mac & cheese is fast 'cause I've cooked a lot of it for my nieces & nephews along with babysitting kids in the past. My cheese sauce is Velveeta cheese, milk, & margarine and is melted in the microwave and then poured into the drained mac. Season to taste and add more milk if needed.

Darlene
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Old 02-29-2008, 03:10 PM   #7
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Darlene, alot of "grown-up" mac and cheese recipes call for a bechamel or something along those lines. Heck, the recipe I have uses $20 worth of different cheeses, shrimp and large shells.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:11 PM   #8
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Hi Sean,

Macaroni and cheese is one of the most beguiling of dishes to make - sounds soooooooooooooooo simple yet is actually very difficult to make well.

You don`t have to make Macaroni and Cheese using a "ROUX" based sauce. You could use an "All-in one" sauce" and this is the method and recipe that I`m going to outline for you.

First a few notes about the cheese you use.

In this recipe, I am going to specify the use of Emmenthal and Gruyere. Now, you don`t need to use these two cheeses, but these cheeses are what are used in the classic "Sauce Mornay". Although the method below is not the classic Sauce Mornay as it is the "QUICK" sauce not the "ROUX" based sauce, the mix of cheeses work very well.

You could use a mature cheddar - use the same quantitites as specified in the recipe and preferably uncoloured. The dyes in a coloured cheese add nothing to the sauce!

You could use a mixture of fresh (and it has to be fresh) Parmesan Reggiano, Gran Padano, Pecorino and you might need less. Buy these cheeses in the block and grate them yourself.

The recipe below call for 4 oz macaroni - in this case I mean 4 oz packaged, dried weight macaroni - not fresh and not from the chill cabinet in the supermarket. this quantity will serve 4 -6 people using the sauce as outlined below.

CHEESE SAUCE / SAUCE MORNAY / ALL-IN-ONE SAUCE

INGREDIENTS:
20
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Old 03-01-2008, 02:43 AM   #9
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What happened to the recipe????

I teach ten year olds to make white sauce by putting the butter, flour and milk in the pan alltogether. You then whisk this on a gentle/medium heat until the sauce starts to bubble. You then continue as for a roux based sauce - seasoning and adding the cheese if you want to.
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Old 03-01-2008, 04:17 AM   #10
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I always heat gently, if you burn the flour it spoils the whole thing
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:12 PM   #11
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I was told to once roux made on pan to remove from heat and add milk slowly until the right texture is achieved and then return to head and slowly simmer. Works a treat for me 98% of the time.
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Old 03-12-2008, 03:24 PM   #12
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The roux you would use for a cheese sauce as for mac and cheese should not be a brown roux.

Heat butter and whisk in the flour. The heat should be much lower than you had set.
Typically, you would use butter and temperatures that would not cause the butter to burn. Then when you whisk in the flour, it won't immediately or quickly brown. You can let it cool a bit so the milk doesn't become an issue. You don't want it to instantly boil or go to steam.

Once you whisk in the milk and bring up the heat to thicken the bechamel, you can take it off the heat and whisk in the shredded cheese. If the bechamel is too hot when you add the cheese, it can cause the cheese to clump and you will not have a smooth sauce. This is not a reversible error.
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Old 03-12-2008, 04:15 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by darlenemt08 View Post
I've never made roux for my mac & cheese. My cheese sauce is Velveeta cheese,...
You're cheating when you use Velveeta
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:50 PM   #14
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Hi All,
Apologies for not posting the recipe - hit the wrong button at the wrong time.

Here goes - again. A recipe for 4 portions of macaroni and cheese.

You will need 2 pots > 1 medium and 1 large.
A wire whisk, a wooden spoon and cheese grater and a nutmeg grater.
A colander/sieve
A greased 750ml/1 1/2 pint pie dish

* Place 1 oz butter, 1 oz flour and 20 fl oz (UK measurements) of milk in the smaller pan. Place on a medium heat and bring up to the boil whisking all the time. When it comes to the boil add 1 teaspoonful of smooth french mustard (Dijon) and whisk in and then and a couple of bayleaves and a grating of fresh nutmeg. Remove the whisk, lower the heat and allow to simmer VERY gently for 10 - 15 minutes.

* Meanwhile, boil 6 oz/150 gms macaroni in salted boiling water - use the kettle for this.
Cook till al dente, and drain in a colander over a pan and reserve any cooking liquid.

* Return now to the sauce. Take the sauce off the heat, add 4 -6 oz/100 -150 gms of well flavoured cheese like a mature cheddar or, preferably half cheddar and half freshly grated parmesan, in stages and stir (with a wooden spoon) to melt the cheese between each adition. As you do this you should remove any bayleaves. Remember, the cheese is already a cooked product so only needs to be melted. Season the sauce to taste with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg.

* Add the cooked, hot macaroni to the cheese sauce and if you need to thin the sauce use cream or the drained liquid.

* Taste again and adjust as necessary. Pour the Macaroni and cheese into the prepared (greased) baking dish. Sprinkle over 1-2oz/25-50 gms grated cheese and grill/broil or bake in a hot oven (225C/425F/Gas mark 7) until browned and bubbling.

Macaroni and cheese needs to be cooked fresh, unlike Lasagne which can be done in advance, but even so not too much in advance! If allowed to stand, the pasta in a macaroni and cheese absorbs liquid from the sauce and becomes stodgy and unpleasant. Consequently, you need to juggle the cooking of the pasta with the sauce - hence the recommendation to use a kettle to boil water and it may take 2/3 kettlefuls to get lots of boiling water, and hence the requirement to use a large pan. Best tip? - have the water for the pasta simmering before you start making the cheese sauce! How much water for the pasta - LOTS - 2 full electric kettle fulls for the amount of pasta I`ve specified, on a fast rolling boil and a dessertspoonful to a tablespoonful of salt.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc
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Old 03-13-2008, 06:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiduc View Post
Macaroni and cheese needs to be cooked fresh, unlike Lasagne which can be done in advance, but even so not too much in advance! If allowed to stand, the pasta in a macaroni and cheese absorbs liquid from the sauce and becomes stodgy and unpleasant. Consequently, you need to juggle the cooking of the pasta with the sauce - hence the recommendation to use a kettle to boil water and it may take 2/3 kettlefuls to get lots of boiling water, and hence the requirement to use a large pan. Best tip? - have the water for the pasta simmering before you start making the cheese sauce! How much water for the pasta - LOTS - 2 full electric kettle fulls for the amount of pasta I`ve specified, on a fast rolling boil and a dessertspoonful to a tablespoonful of salt.

Hope this helps,
Archiduc

What's all that water needed for? I use a small pan with enough water to cover the expanded macaroni and little salt. I don't want to waste water/salt/gas.
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