Eric Arceneaux, the executive chef of the Big Eddy Club, grew up in Lafayette, La. He said he had two career choices — become a chef or work on an oil rig. He chose to cook. Arceneaux, though a classically trained French chef, loves to cook the food he grew up eating. So he added several Cajun dishes to the menu at the private club at Green Island Hills.
Today, he’s demonstrating the art of making the perfect roux.
A roux is the cooked mixture of equal amounts of flour and butter. It is used to thicken many kinds of sauces.
The cooking period varies, depending on the color of roux required. The white or blonde are used for white sauces; the brown roux for dark sauces. The dark brown roux is often used in Cajun cooking. “The color is muddy like the mighty Mississippi River.”
For white roux, Arceneaux recommends using copper or stainless steel pans. For the others, use cast-iron pans.
1 pound butter 1 cup flour
Melt the butter over medium high heat. Whisk in flour a little at a time.
Keep whisking. Never leave the roux and never stop whisking.
As soon as the flour is fully incorporated and the butter is bubbling, remove from the stove. You have a white roux.
For the blonde roux, keep whisking until it’s a light yellow.
For the brown roux, keep whisking until it’s a nice, nutty brown color.
For the dark brown roux, keep whisking until it’s the color of the Mississippi.