Reader Question: Roux vs Slurry – What is the difference?

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Roux vs Slurry – What is the Difference?

Roux Photo by theculinarycook.com

We Received a terrific question from a curious Reader:

Can someone please explain to me the difference between a roux and a slurry? Is there even a difference?

Thanks! 🙂

Answer from Chef Bruce: 

Hi [Reader]. This is a very good question!
A roux is equal parts butter & flour (equal by weight). You would use a roux to thicken sauces and soups. The rule I use with using a roux is that a roux starts a soup or sauce. For example, if you were making a chowder, you would saute the vegetables in butter and then add the flour; and work the flour until it is a bit cooked. Then you add your water, milk or stock. A roux should be cooked before adding the liquid.

A Step-by-Step How To Photo Pictorial Learn How To Cook - How To Photo Pictorial Steps Making A Roux

Roux Photo Credit learnhowtocook.com

A slurry is equal parts water and flour and should be added when the soup or sauce is almost done. You can mix in a dish, or shake in a container. (see photo) You must cook the soup for a bit once added, as the flour in the slurry still needs to cook.

Slurry Photo by Rrita-may-recipes.blogspot.com/

Really, both work well. You should try both and see which works for you. If you have any other questions, please ask! 🙂

~ Chef Bruce West

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

* To learn more about making a Roux, including it’s various stages and uses,

Click HERE: Learn How to Cook – How to Make a Roux ( http://learnhowtocook.com )

*To Learn more about Various ways to Thicken Foods,

Click HERE: About Thickening Agents ( http://theculinarycook.com )

A Step-by-Step How To Photo Pictorial Learn How To Cook - How To Photo Pictorial Steps Making A Roux

Photo Credit learnhowtocook.com

How to Make Pecan Coconut Butter!

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I love to make my own Nut Butters, which we eat often for Breakfast.

This week, I made TWO flavors! 🙂

Pecan Coconut Butter on the Left, and good ole Peanut Butter on the Right.

All natural with no added oils or emulsifiers. And the cost? Literally, Peanuts!

Method:

~ Put any random quantity of nuts of your choice in small processor. For this recipe I used Chopped Pecans and Organic Unsweetened Coconut, in a roughly 50/50 ratio. To this, I added about 1/4 tsp of organic raw sugar. [May substitute honey, or omit altogether if you don’t use sugars. I did not add sugar to the Peanuts]. Add a pinch of sea salt. If you are using salted nuts, omit the salt.

 

~ Pulse till mixed. Grind for approx one minute. Mixture will get crumbly, then form a ball, then become smooth. Taste. Adjust salt, nuts or sweetness, Grind till sooth enough to spread. Mixture gets a little warm, so leave in container uncovered for at least one hour. Will keep in covered container for weeks.

Boom! That’s it! So easy!

Now you have Delicious Home Made Nut Butter!

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

How to Make Delicious Warm Apple Compote Filling in 15 minutes!

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Warm Apple Compote Stuffed Crepes

Since Apple Season is in ‘Full Swing’ here in the Northeast US, I thought it seemed timely to post an Apple Recipe! Warm Apple Compote is pretty easy to make, yet delivers big on taste. Use this versatile filling with your favorite desserts or pastry recipes.

Easy Warm Apple Compote & Filling

Total Prep & Cook Time: 15 Minutes * Yield: 2 Cups of Filling

* Ingredients: 

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All Natural Ingredients

4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thin

2 Tblsp unsalted butter

2 Tblsp sugar or Honey

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch salt

1 tsp corn starch or tapioca flour, mixed with 2 Tblsp water

* Method:

  1. Saute sliced apples in butter until apples start to wilt (do not burn)
  2. Add sugar or honey and cook until sugar melts and starts to form bubbles
  3. Add salt, cinnamon and corn starch slurry and cook until all boils. Turn off flame and remove from heat.
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Just-Picked Local Apples

Mmmm, That’s It!

Use your Home Made, Fresh Warm Apple Compote to stuff crepes, fill turnovers,

or as a topping for pancakes, waffles, or ice cream.

Cheers, and Happy Eating!

Tropical Mango Salsa ~ A Fiesta in Your Mouth!

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Fresh Grouper with Mango Salsa, Roasted Garlic Whipped Potatoes, and Mixed Root Vegetable  Slaw

The answer to, “What sauce or condiment should I put on my fish?”

My Story: When I was a young cook, I was required to serve every item on the menu as the chef directed, whether I liked those items or not. Hollandaise on fish; cream sauce on fish, and many more rich and heavy sauces on fish. If those sauces weren’t heavy enough, then I had to serve sides of buttered vegetables and rice or potatoes. If the goal is flavor and correct cooking technique, why did we serve food that felt like lead in the tummy? That didn’t make sense.

When I became a chef, and had control over the menu, I changed all that. Heavy sauces were replaced with salsas, relishes, chutneys, essences of vegetables and herbs, consommé…you get the picture.

The recipe below for your fish needs no other sauce or topping. It stands alone to compliment oily and firm fleshed fish such as salmon, mahi-mahi, swordfish, marlin, kingfish, bass, tuna, etc. Using a salsa with fish combines well with potatoes, couscous, quinoa and steamed or stir fried veggies. The end result is juicier food.

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Lightly Fried Shrimp with Mango Salsa

Of course, you don’t have to use it with just fish!  Mango Salsa, being more akin to pico de gallo,  works great with simple guacamole & tortilla chips, or gussied up as a bright and colorful side to Shrimp or Pork.

 Mango Salsa Recipe

Serves 4    *    Prep Time; 15 minutes

* Ingredients:

1 tsp diced Serrano pepper, or Jalapeño (if you do not prefer spicy, use diced fresh red pepper)

1 tsp olive oil or sunflower seed oil

1 tsp lime juice

1 tsp honey

2 Mangoes, peeled, flesh 1/4 inch dice

1 plum tomato, 1/4 inch dice

1/4 cup onion, 1/4 inch dice

1 Tblsp chopped fresh cilantro

Pinch salt

* Method:

  1. In a small mixing bowl, stir together the fresh pepper, oil, lime juice and honey.
  2. Then add the mango, tomato, onion and cilantro.
  3. Stir gently so you don’t break up the mango.
  4. Voila! Serve either over your fish, or in a finger bowl as a side
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Mango Salsa and Guacamole Snack

Ginger Soy Vegetable Lo Mein Recipe – Putting Ramen to Shame!

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Ginger Soy Vegetable Lo Mein

I really, really love Asian style foods. That is all I have to say about that.

** Ginger Soy Vegetable Lo Mein  **

Serves 2 ~ Prep and cooking time: 30-45 minutes

Ingredients:
4 oz spaghetti or linguine,- cooked
¼ cup peanut oil, or sunflower oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon chopped ginger
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes or 1 tsp diced hot chili pepper
2 cups diced assorted vegetables. Use what you have. You could include any of the following veggies: Bok choy, mushrooms, broccoli, snow peas, cabbage, carrots, onions, peppers, bean sprouts, celery
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 Tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
1 Tablespoon Oyster sauce
2 Tablespoons soy sauce mixed with 1 tsp sugar
Pinch or two of Ground black pepper

Method:
1. Prepare all Ingredients.
2. Cook the pasta. Pour into a colander, but do not wash or cool off the pasta in water- leave in the colander
3. Place wok or large sauté pan on high heat for two minutes to get very hot
4. Add the oil. Let oil sit in the pan to get hot for about 30 seconds (the oil must be hot)
5. Add the ginger, garlic and pepper flakes and stir constantly until the ingredients get a slight brown color. This takes about 15 seconds and do not burn (be sure to keep the heat on high)
6. Add the 2 cups diced veggies and stir constantly for about 30 seconds
7. Add the stock, Hoisin, Oyster sauce, Sesame Oil, and soy sauce. Stir for about 15 seconds
8. Add the pasta and stir to mix the veg and pasta for 15 seconds
9. Add the black pepper and stir for about 15 seconds.
10. Take off the heat and plate up immediately

** This dish works as great on a busy weeknight, as it does for Saturday night company. Add stir-fried chicken, beef, or seared shrimp if desired. Bruce likes to top with a seasoned fried egg, giving it an impressive “international flare”. lol!

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** Enjoy! **

Breakfast for Dinner: Tasty Healthy Waffles!

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Do you like eating Breakfast for Dinner? WE DO! And about once a month in our house, that means WAFFLES! A few years ago, Bruce found his mom’s old waffle maker – with the old fashioned frayed, round, cloth-covered plug and everything-  and has been on a mission to make yummy waffles. Since we’ve reduced our wheat & dairy intake, his challenge has been incorporating non-wheat based flours. Attempts with completely dairy or wheat-free recipes (ie, almond, coconut, oat, buckwheat, etc flours, almond & coconut milk) did not give him a satisfactory result. Below, he presents the fruits of his labors:

Mmm! Home Made Waffles!

Mmm! Home Made Waffles!

* Tasty Waffles *

Servings: 4 waffles

DRY Ingredients:

¼ cup Quinoa flour

¼ cup Oat flour

½ cup AP flour

1 T baking powder

¼ tsp salt

1 T tapioca flour (can substitute cornstarch)

WET Ingredients:

1 cup milk

2 T melted unsalted butter

1 T sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp almond extract

Equipment:

Wire whip, 2 mixing bowls (approx. 2 quart size), waffle maker, 4 ounce ladle, spray oil (we found an organic coconut oil spray!)

Method:

  1. Place all dry ingredients in one mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with a whip.
  2. Place all wet ingredients in the other mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Using the whip or fork, stir only until combined. Do not over mix. Batter must rest for about 10 minutes.
  4. Turn on waffle maker to high temp. When waffle maker is at high temp, lightly spray the cooking surface.
  5. Ladle 4 ounces of the batter onto the cooking surface
  6. You will have to experiment with the temp and time, as each waffle maker varies
  7. Garnish with fruit, toasted nuts, compotes, etc – and enjoy!

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