Preparation / Directions:
The traditional roux is an important element of many Cajun and Creole dishes. It is a mixture of half flour and half fat (oil or butter) cooked to progressive of color from blond to brown depending on the richness and the "smokiness" of the flavor you are trying to achieve, the brown being the richest. This typical ingredient is a problem to low-fat, low-calorie, low-cholesterol cookery because of its high oil content, but making a "roux" without the oil is simple.
For use in Cajun dishes, gravies and as an all around flavorful thickening agent.
Make several cups at a time and store in tightly closed jar in refrigerator.
Put 1 to 3 cups flour into heavy skillet and place over moderate heat. The amount of flour depends only on size of skillet and size of storage container you will use.
Stir the flour around often with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Pay attention to the cooking because the flour will take a few minutes (5 or so) to begin coloring. Stir constantly to keep the flour in the bottom of the skillet moving so that it does not burn. Continue until all the flour is desired color, probably about like a light peanut butter color. The entire process takes 15 to 20 minutes to get enough rich dry roux to use for many dishes. Most dishes will call for several tablespoons full. Later -- when the dry roux is mixed with liquid, it will take on a darker color.
From "Louisiana Light" by Roy F. Guste, Jr. 1990.