If you've ever made homemade sauce or soup, you might have found yourself needing to thicken it -- the classic way to do this is by creating a roux. A roux is traditionally a mixture of butter and flour that cooks down and becomes a thickening agent. It's a great way to counteract a thin Alfredo sauce or even a gumbo. And while you can create a roux right at the start of your recipe in the same pot or pan as the rest of the sauce, sometimes you don't always realize you need one until the recipe is nearly done and way too thin. In this case, rather than breaking out a whole new pan, you can simply make a roux right in the microwave.
While it sounds unconventional to create a roux in the microwave, it's an easy kitchen hack that will ultimately leave your dish with just the right consistency; don't knock it until you try it.
Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life
How To Create A Roux In The Microwave
A microwavable roux is as easy as it sounds. A roux is usually made with a 1-to-1 ratio of butter and flour. The roux's flavor and color change depending on how long you cook it. If you need a quick roux to thicken a sauce or soup, just add a tablespoon of butter to a tablespoon of flour and microwave it for no more than a minute. Once the roux is heated, mix it with a whisk or spoon, then add it to your dish. You might need more than a couple of tablespoons depending on your recipe's size; if so, just repeat the process until you've reached the desired consistency.
If you burn the roux, you'll be able to taste it throughout the dish, so you definitely don't want to microwave it for longer than it needs. Since microwave cooking times vary, you might even want to start with just 15 to 30 seconds of cook time and increase it as needed.
Why A Roux Is So Important
It's well-known that roux acts as a thickening agent, but there is a reason you combine the butter with the flour. If you just added a starch, such as flour, to your dish, you would likely find that it wound up creating unsightly clumps because that starch wouldn't properly separate in a warm sauce or soup. By mixing it with butter first, the fat binds to the starchy flour, separating it and helping it to integrate more naturally into your sauce. Plus, heating the flour down before adding it to your dish helps reduce that raw starch flavor.
A roux doesn't have to be made with flour and butter, though these are the most typical elements. You can use another form of fat, such as lard or oil, too. You can also use corn starch in place of flour, but you should add a little water to the corn starch before adding it to the fat to help create a smoother roux.
Read the original article on Daily Meal.