Roux (pronounced /ˈruː/) is a cooked mixture of wheat flour and fat, traditionally clarified butter. It is the thickening agent of three of the mother sauces of classical French cooking: sauce béchamel, sauce velouté and sauce espagnole. Butter, vegetable oils, or lard are commonly used fats. It is used as a thickener for gravy, other sauces, soups and stews. It is typically made from equal parts of flour and fat by weight. Retrieved February 27, 2011 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roux
I started the roux and immediately recognized that this thickener was quite similar to the broth mixture for green bean soup. I recalled the stories of how my great-grandmother passed the green bean soup recipe to my grandmother and my grandmother passed the green bean recipe to my mother.
When I set the seafood gumbo to simmer, I started the green bean soup. Of course I used the cast iron skillet again. My mother loved this skillet. Mixing the roux and the green bean broth in it made me finally understand why. The cast iron built an even heat and its sturdy structure was a welcome break from modern frying pans which disintegrate too easily.
The broth for green bean soup is created as follows: "In a separate frying pan, place 2 tablespoons of of butter and 1/2 cup flour. Warm this mixture on low heat while stirring occasionally. Heat until the flour browns and butter dissolves." From Value Meals on the Volga, Sharing Our Heritage with New Generations.
Is it a coincidence that this soup thickener is used in French and German Russian cooking, or do all cultures have a similar recipe?
Whether Russian, German, Italian, French or Spanish, this cooking technique demonstrates we are a global community so matter how we look at it. To roux or not to roux, in whatever language, it's just good cooking.