Friday, July 11

How to Rescue a Roux

Have you ever found yourself making a sauce with flour and milk and there are more lumps than you care to have, and they're not going away no matter how much you whisk it?

That happened to me a couple of weeks ago when making beef stroganoff, and I did something that worked perfectly. Using a mid-sized Pyrex measuring cup (a mixing bowl would do) and a fine-meshed strainer placed over it, I carefully poured the hot roux into the strainer and let the smooth sauce strain into the bowl. The lumps were left in the strainer, and I whisked the lumpy roux until it smoothed out and blended into a paste. It didn't take long. Placing the pan back on the stove and turning the heat on, I put the roux paste in and added a little bit of the strained, smooth roux and whisked it until it combined, then I added a bit more and whisked to combine. I repeated those steps until the paste was no longer a thick past but a smooth, thick sauce, then I added the rest of the smooth liquid and continued whisking to allow the entire roux to thicken as needed.

The alternative? Taking out the lumps scoop by scoop and losing the proportion of flour to milk, or starting over. The above trick worked well with no loss of ingredients. I'd recommend turning the burner off while you do this to keep the empty pan from getting too hot. Otherwise, the roux may scorch when you return it to the pan.

Do you have any kitchen tips that have saved you? Please post in the comments! Also, if you haven't taken the poll to the left, I am awaiting your answer!

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