May, I bet you don’t even know how to make a roux.

In Lafayette, Louisiana, roux making is apparently a sign of prowess. In college, my husband’s friend, Brian, was accosted by a couple of drunken fellows looking to cause trouble. They hurled insults and Brian did his best to ignore them. Then, they finally struck a nerve, “May, I bet you don’t even know how to make a roux.” In Cajun country, my friends, those are fighting words.

A good roux is the basis for many Cajun dishes. Ask any Cajun and they will give you a detailed description of how they make it. Here is my version.

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour


  • Heat butter in a heavy skillet over low heat.
  • Slowly sprinkle the flour in a little at a time, stirring constantly.
  • Stir constantly until it turns a deep chocolate brown (this may take 20 to 30 minutes). If it burns even slightly, throw it out and start over again.
  • Use in dishes that call for basic roux.