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Possible to make a roux using flour and something besides butter?

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Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 07:48 PM

Am making Thanksgiving dinner for a group that includes one person who is lactose intolerant, so I think butter is out. What else have you used as a gravy base? Would something like Smart Balance work? Or does that have a different melting/combining with flour consistency than "real" fat??!! Any help would be appreciated!

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  1. pikawicca RE: Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 07:50 PM

    Why don't you use clarified butter? That way, you'll have pure fat, no milk solids.

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      coconutz RE: Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 07:58 PM

      You cannot use spreads to cook with, but you can use sticks of margarine (I wouldn't.) I think you can use oil (it is the base for cajun roux, right?). Take a look at this gravy. I made it once a long time ago with roasted ducks, and remember it being crazy good.

      http://topchefs.chef2chef.net/recipes...

      1 Reply
      1. re: coconutz
        jjb75 RE: coconutz Nov 13, 2006 02:24 AM

        I cook with Smart Balance or Earth Balance all of the time - including making roux.

      2. v
        Val RE: Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 07:59 PM

        Absolutely, oil can indeed be used for a roux instead of butter.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Val
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          Atahualpa RE: Val Nov 12, 2006 09:08 PM

          Peanut oil is fairly 'round' and full in flavour and would probably be closest to butter. Some lard would be fine too. But, as was said above, I haven't met anyone who was lactose intolerant enough to need to worry. Lactose intolerance isn't an allergy, it is an inability to digest the lactose. Hence, the reaction is directly proportional to the amount consumed.

        2. JasmineG RE: Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 08:00 PM

          Any kind of oil can be used for a roux, but unless this person is SEVERELY lactose intolerant, butter in a roux isn't going to affect them at all. You should check with the guest.

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            btnfood RE: Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 08:02 PM

            Turkey fat, separated from your turkey drippings, will make an excellent gravy that is in no way a compromise.

            Oil will also work, as would margarine (my last choice, but if you go that route, use Earth Balance stick margarine, as its consistency is closest to butter).

            3 Replies
            1. re: btnfood
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              Spencer RE: btnfood Nov 12, 2006 08:07 PM

              I was going to say bacon drippings, but I think your notion is choice.

              1. re: btnfood
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                Ms Ghost RE: btnfood Nov 12, 2006 08:13 PM

                I'm hoping to do the gravy ahead and freeze it as I have in years past, but I guess I could brown the turkey wings I have before simmering with the carrots, onions, etc. and probably get enough fat from that process. I had thought of the bacon grease idea that Spencer suggested, but was afraid it might give a weird taste. Maybe I'll combine turkey fat from the wings with some bacon grease. Thanks, everybody, for all the great ideas!

                1. re: btnfood
                  Candy RE: btnfood Nov 12, 2006 09:15 PM

                  Absolutely! Use those drippings go for the full flavor, but any oil/fat will work. Don't forget when making gumbo you use flour and oil or lard to make your roux.

                2. k
                  Kelli2006 RE: Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 09:28 PM

                  I found this recipe for turkey gravy in Fine Cooking magazine. It uses turkey fat, and mentions that it can be augmented with oil if necessary.

                  http://www.taunton.com/finecooking/th...

                  1. Infomaniac RE: Ms Ghost Nov 12, 2006 10:09 PM

                    Olive oil is what I use most of the time,

                    1. g
                      gardencub RE: Ms Ghost Nov 13, 2006 01:21 AM

                      I too would suggest using Turkey or Chicken fat instead of butter, not only will you eliminate the lactose, but you will have intense Turkey flavor. I use half Turkey fat and half butter in my gravy and there is never enough, eveyone eats extra. Do not tell my Doctor, he would have a heart attack just thinking about it.

                      I usually buy a few turkey legs and thighs and cook them off before Thanksgiving, render the fat and save the stock. I use the fat for my roux and use the stock to fortify the gravy.

                      1. j
                        justmoved RE: Ms Ghost Nov 13, 2006 02:20 AM

                        You can also set the oven to 350 degrees and spread a layer of flour on a sheet pan, put it into the oven and toast it as dark as you would like/ you may need to move the sheet pan around in the oven. When making the gravy dust the onions/veggies and giblits-if you use them with the toasted flour and then add the liquid. This will thicken like a roux without the additional butter or fats.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: justmoved
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                          Spencer RE: justmoved Nov 13, 2006 03:20 AM

                          Interesting to me that you should suggest this. I have a doctor friend from New Orleans that told me a few years ago about a "dry roux" that you make in a skillet with no oil. I tried it a few weeks ago and it worked wonderfully.
                          I prefer a roux with oil, but my wife is on a diet so I thought I would give it a try. I still prefer wet, but if you are counting calories...

                          1. re: Spencer
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                            Hungry Celeste RE: Spencer Nov 13, 2006 02:07 PM

                            You can even use rice flour for a dry roux if you're gluten or wheat sensitive.

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                          ellaj RE: Ms Ghost Nov 13, 2006 11:27 AM

                          Here is another option for gravy making: use a thickener like cornstarch and skip the roux entirely.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: ellaj
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                            Hungry Celeste RE: ellaj Nov 13, 2006 02:07 PM

                            Mouthfeel of roux-thickened gravy vs. cornstarch gravy is VERY different. I find the cornstarch version quite gluey & unpleasant.

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                            howboy RE: Ms Ghost Nov 13, 2006 07:10 PM

                            My grandmother made a German type roux of rendered meat fat and flour that was called something like "ironbrun". I remember her using it as a base in a crazy dish of stringbeans with "sour salt", sugar and cinnamon. Now that I'm typing about it, it sounds gross, but I remember it as delicious.

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