First you make a Roux" -- this phrase is repeated in almost all
Creole and Cajun recipes. A Roux is a mixture of fat and flour,
cooked together until the flour has turned an even, nut-brown color.
It is important that the Roux be cooked in a heavy pot, slowly and
evenly. If the flour is burned, it will not thicken the sauce.
It will also impart an unpleasant taste.
Accepted methods of making a Roux call for equal parts of flour
and fat (oil, bacon grease, shortening, butter, or margarine).
For an ordinary sauce (such as gumbo, daube, grillades, etc.) bacon
grease or oil is used. For more delicately flavored dishes (poultry,
fish, and eggs), butter or margarine is usually preferred.
In a heavy sauce pan, melt the butter, or slightly heat the oil,
over low heat. Stir in the flour. Cook over low heat, stirring
constantly, until a rich brown Roux is formed (about 20 to 25
Roux may be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen, tightly covered,
for long periods of time.