ROUX la la!
This classic combination of equal parts fat to flour forms the base of sauces in many cultures. In France, it's classically butter and flour, but in creole and cajun cuisine, it's simply vegetable oil and flour. Traditionally Roux is cooked on the stovetop - it's a bit of a labor of love as it requires care and attention every 10 minutes (translation - stirring). One of my culinary pals suggested I make a roux in the oven instead - she swore it would yield the same results, in the same time frame, with much less attention needed by moi! So I put this theory to the test.
I used 2 identical pans, weighed the same amount of flour (1 cup) and the same volume of fat (1 cup of vegetable oil) and prepared one roux in an oven set at 350 degrees and one on the stovetop. My Goal: a dark, mahogany roux in 90 minutes or less. 90 minutes!!!??! Well, if you can walk and chew gum or look at your smartphone, you will be able to make a roux AND prep for your gumbo, do your laundry, call a friend, or catchup on your favorite show. Let's see what happened!