Category Archives: Southern

Kitchen Basics: How To Make Roux

A good roux is the foundation of many sauces and gravies.  Making it can be as simple as adding flour to the oil or meat breakfast drippings such as bacon or sausage, to an art form.

For me, I go the artsy fartsy route with fresh butter and charred flour.

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My Grandmothers WWII aluminum pot

For any good Creole or Cajun dish like this one has to make a good roux. The standard is one to one on the oil and the flour. I use everything from bacon grease, corn oil to butter and even use some of the fat from the roast in this one to give it an extra punch. To make the roux, I use a black cast iron skillet on medium to medium low heat. Heat the oil and for this one I used ¾ cup of oil to ¾ cup flour. The oil was a mix of bacon grease, beef fat and corn oil. Stir the mix frequently or use a whisk for about 30 minutes and don’t try to speed it up. It should be a medium to dark brown for that extra flavor.

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With a foundation such as this, the roux will be quite unique to you!  It takes time and patience to make a good roux.  Keep at it, constantly stirring and whisking for about 30 to 40 minutes.  When it turns the exact color you like, it’s ready!

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Beef and Sausage Gumbo

Way down yonder in New Orleans, the gumbo be good! I been making this gumbo for a long time and it good. So good in fact that it don’t take no hot sauce because it be plenty spicy.
There is a difference between Creole and Cajun cooking. The Creole is a combination of French, Spanish and American Indian cuisines and was developed in New Orleans. The Cajun style is from the bayous of Louisiana.
First off, for any good Creole or Cajun dish like this one has to make a good roux. The standard is one to one on the oil and the flour. I use everything from bacon grease, corn oil to butter and even use some of the fat from the roast in this one to give it an extra punch. To make the roux, I use a black cast iron skillet on medium to medium low heat. Heat the oil and for this one I used ¾ cup of oil to ¾ cup flour. The oil was a mix of bacon grease, beef fat and corn oil. Stir the mix frequently or use a whisk for about 30 minutes and don’t try to speed it up. It should be a medium to dark brown for that extra flavor.

Continue reading Beef and Sausage Gumbo

Kentucky Butter Cake

Yes, I am a Southern boy by birth and heritage!  I make this cake usually for the holidays but am seeing how it can top off my mornings on the patio in Houston.  This butter cake is rich and yet with that morning coffee puts a cinnamon roll to shame.

The ingredients are quite traditional and yet create a masterpiece to me.

3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup real butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

BUTTER SAUCE
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease and flour a bundt pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Cream: 1 cup butter, 2 cups sugar for about 5 minutes. When the mixture is smooth enough, blend in eggs one at a time.
Mix the buttermilk and vanilla together and alternately buttermilk and flour mixture into creamed mixture.
Pour the mixture in your bundt pan and bake for 1 hour.
Butter Sauce: In medium sauce pan on medium heat mix sugar, water and butter, bring to low boil , stirring until sugar is dissolved, add vanilla.

When cake is still very hot, leave in bundt pan, poke small holes in top
Drizzle the butter sauce over cake.  Let it soak in and you are in for a treat!
Yum Yum and with a good cup of coffee or espresso, it can be transcendent!