In making the roux, which is the foundation of a Fancy Sauce, melt the tablespoonful of butter slowly, and add gradually the flour, sprinkling it in and stirring constantly, till every portion is a nice, delicate brown. Never make it too brown, because it must continue browning as the other ingredients are added in the order given in every recipe in this book. It is a great mistake to pile all ingredients, one after another, pell-mell into a dish, in the course of preparation. The secret of good cooking lies in following implicitly the gradual introduction of the component parts in the order specified.
In making a Roux for cooking Gravies or smothering meats, the proportions are one tablespoonful of lard and two of flour, butter always making a richer Gravy than lard, and sometimes being too rich for delicate stomachs. It is a great fad among many in our day to use nothing but butter in cooking. The Creoles hold that butter should be used in its proper place, and lard in its own. The lard is not only less expensive, but is far preferable to any inferior quality of butter, and in many cases preferable to the best butter, according to the dish in course of preparation. Properly made, the taste of lard can never be detected, and it is feared that butter is used by many to cover up, by its taste, the deficiencies of having made the Roux improperly. If there is the slightest indication of burnt odor or over-browning, throw the Roux away and wash the utensil before proceeding to make another. Remember that even a slightly burnt Sauce will spoil the most savory dish.