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Roux Made Easy!!

In Louisiana, a cold day is known a good "Gumbo" Day.  Well Gumbo season is upon us and I will be cooking big pots of it at my house.  When I moved to Denver, I quickly found out that you can not find roux in a jar at your nearest grocery store.  In fact, you can't find it in any grocery store.  I spent years having it shipped from Louisiana.  Anyone who visited me brought me roux and cajun seasoning.

I'm happy that the stores now carry my favorite seasoning, but still no roux.  After years of intimidation, I set out to make my own roux.  How hard can burning flour be?  Well, it turned out to be very hard.  I was doing it on the stove.  While it does need to be very dark, there's a fine line between burnt and too burnt.  I gave up for a couple of more years.

Last year, I decided that I was going to master this roux process if it killed me.  After lots of research, I decided the microwave method was the way to go.  I tried different oil and flour ratios.  The process that I came up with is fool proof, spoken like a roux fool.  

The oil and flour ratio is 2 parts flour to 1 part vegetable oil.  I like mine a little dry.  It serves the same purpose, but has less fat.  Mix your oil and flour in a microwave safe dish - preferably one with a handle.  If you are making gumbo, you will want to mix 3 cups of flour and 1 1/2 cups of oil.  Put your mixture in the microwave for 4 minutes.  Remove and stir.  Put back in the microwave for 1 minute increments, stirring well in between each time.  It will take 3 to 4 more additional minutes.  Your roux should be the color of dark coffee.  I've even found that my own roux disolves better than store bought roux.

It can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.  Besides gumbo, it serves a great thickening agent in any gravy.

Don't wait until you're feeling adventurous.  It's easier than you think.

Happy Cooking!


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The Dish On...

Toasted Pumpkin Seeds!!

The best part of carving pumpkins is the pumpkin seeds you are left with.  This too is much easier than you think.  Here's what we do at our house.

1)  Remove and rinse the pumpkin seeds in a colander and shake out excess water.

2)  Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

3)  Spread seeds in single layer on a large cookie sheet.  Season to taste.  We use salt.

4)  Place in preheated over for an hour to an hour and a half to 2 hours.

5)  Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.


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