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Making A Roux?
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14 posts in this topic

I have so many chowder recipes and sauce recipes that call for a flour roux. Would cornstarch be acceptable to use in this situation? If not, what could i use to thicken my soups??

:unsure: Will it still taste yummy?

Thanks! Gabby

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I don't think cornstarch would be the best way to go - it will give a little bit different consistency and color. Rice flour may work a bit better, though. particularly sweet rice flour.

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I do not like using cornstarch for a roux. I have had a bit of luck using All Purpose gluten-free Flour from Bob's Red Mil. It will not give you exactly the same results but fairly close.

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I use cornstarch all the time. It's fine.

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Have you considered potato flakes as a thickener or are you starting from a roux base? Try the gluten free flour mixes.

Laura

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I don't make soups with a roux to start but have been thickening my creamy soups with sweet rice flour. What I do is cook the veggies, etc, in the water/broth, and when they are well cooked and I am about to add the cream I take some sweet rice flour and put it in a sifter and shake it into the soup as I stir. This seems to thicken it nicely.

I do make gravy - I usually use white rice flour (not necessarily sweet rice flour) but funny thing, last Thanksgiving I forgot to bring it to my parents house so my husband ran home to get it for me and accidentally brought the tapioca starch flour (which I didn't notice, even though I was thinking the consistency was a little different). Since I always feel under pressure to "perform" making the gravy, I got to work. It always takes me about 30 mins because I make as much as I can (can't have enough!) and I was really working hard to make it as normal as usual - first time with non-gluten flour - and it came out fine. It was only later in the evening I realized I'd used tapioca instead of rice. Based on that experience I would think cornstarch would work pretty well, it's somewhat similar (both have that "walking on fresh snow" crunch).

Stephanie

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I have so many chowder recipes and sauce recipes that call for a flour roux.  Would cornstarch be acceptable to use in this situation? If not, what could i use to thicken my soups?? 

:unsure: Will it still taste yummy?

Thanks! Gabby

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I've found that it takes a combination of things to replace the flour. I would start making it the traditional way using cornstarch to incorporate the butter. Then if it doesn't thicken up as you would like it, use potato flakes. (instant potatoes are great for "saving" gravies, sauces and soups)

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Ok... I have to ask this. I cook alot, grew up cooking and figured I knew alot about things...

What the heck is a roux?

:>

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A roux is a mixture of melted butter (or other fat) and flour. You make it into a "paste" and then it thickens soups, sauces, etc.

If you are going to make a paste, it's best to use rice/sweet rice or tapioca flour, or a gluten-free flour mix. Otherwise, you can use a slurry (a mixture of water and cornstarch which is thicker than a paste -- it's runny/liquid) as a thickener. Depending on your recipe, you may prefer one over the other. For a chowder recipe, I would think either would work.

Kim.

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Cool, thanks. I know more now. Actually, I have to ask my Mom now to see if she knows what a roux is.

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I got my Celiac update from google just now. This was in there. Just thought I'd share...

Wheat-free roux update

I got lots of mail regarding alternate sauce-thickening methods for the gluten-intolerant. Bev Lieven of Milwaukee passed along a recommendation from the Milwaukee Celiac-Sprue Crew, a support group for people who can't digest gluten: "Toast sweet rice flour in a dry pan until it is golden. This can be whisked into hot liquids as you would flour to thicken gravy. Rice flour continues to get thicker as the liquid evaporates, just like wheat flour."

I decided to make two bechamel sauces, side by side, one with wheat flour and one with rice flour. In each of two saucepans I combined 2 tablespoons of flour (wheat or rice) with 2 tablespoons butter over low heat until the mixture was bubbling and just starting to brown. I then whisked in 1 1/4 cups whole milk and simmered over low heat, whisking almost constantly, until the sauces thickened. The rice-flour-based sauce was a little sweeter and had a slightly grainier texture but was an entirely acceptable bechamel.

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If you are cooking Cajun (whooo... don't you know?) you have a couple of good choices for rouxs. I've used soy flour, which gives a peanutish flavor to gravy or sauce. I've used Garfava flour, which toasts up nicely, but tends to be a little gritty if you don't boil it for more that 10-15 minutes. The gluten-free flour mixes contain potato starch and tapioca, which makes a sticky roux. The best I've found is white rice flours. A Cajun roux is dark brown, so it takes some time to make, but it makes a gravy or ettouffee so good. Cook ever so slowly in Wesson or similar oil over low heat, whisking every 1-2 minutes. Cast iron pan is best. When the roux is dark brown and the house smells like burned popcorn, the roux is ready for your gumbo or whatever.

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my husband swears by corn flour for his roux. he says it has both the right consistency and the right flavor, which is harder to come by. but, that is for cajun food. for other foods where the roux is a stronger component of the flavor, i agree that rice might be better.

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