Has this ever happened to you:
You look up from a busy day and suddenly it's 6 p.m., the husband arrives home, and just as you both profess starvation you realize that you have no idea what to make for dinner?
Fear no more, this scrumptious meal is here to save your day and reclaim your title as hero of all things! (Not to mention the fact that it was created in about 15 minutes and was a perfectly balanced meal.) Beginning your sauces with a simple variation on a roux will thicken soups, sauces and make you forget about the magic of chinese food takeout.
What is roux you ask? According to wikipedia, it's any mixture of flour and fat. And since we know that wikipedia has the answer to all things we don't ask questions. (Sarcasm people!)
Depending on what you are making you may want to add stock to the flour (this makes a lovely pan gravy if you use drippings from a roasted bird or formerly living creature as there is no need to add additional fat), olive oil to the flour (in the case of this quick stir fry and for extra rich sauces), or just stick with the traditional butter. Either way, starting a dish with roux adds depth and makes your family think you spent an extra long time preparing that meal.
The only secret to creating a good roux is to make sure you keep it on the heat long enough for a paste to come together a bit a few times, adding the fat slowly to make it a thick mixture (think elmers glue) and then to cook it long enough to get the raw flour taste to cook out and the nutty richness to set in.
You might even roux the day you learned to make roux...for your family might never call for take out again. Here's to hoping!