Thursday, April 7, 2016

Stock and Roux - Keys to Flavorful Cajun Cooking

A respected Houston attorney, Efrem Sewell has brought more than a hundred cases to trial with a jury during his lengthy career. A culinary enthusiast, Efrem Sewell cooks a wide variety of dishes and particularly enjoys preparing Cajun style meals. Critical in Cajun cooking are sauce and soup stocks, as well as roux, which is employed to thicken and enhance flavor.

Stocks typically employ the same basic ingredient that is being featured in the soup or with the sauce. For example, fish stock will be used in preparing a seafood gumbo and fresh turkey is boiled when creating a turkey gumbo. When creating the sauce-based crayfish Etouffee, some of the crayfish is pressed through a screen and subsequently strained further through fine mesh. The end result is a rich flavorful stock that amplifies the taste of the primary ingredient.

Roux is created from a combination of fat and flour and must be cooked at an exacting temperature, not too hot and not too long. If the flame is too high or the roux is not mixed enough, black spots may appear, which ruins the flavor and consistency. To preserve the proper brown coloration and consistency, some chefs add vegetables such as green peppers, celery, onions, and garlic, which are common in Cajun cooking, at just the right time.