Please any of you feel free to add on or make corrections, as I ripped this off really fast.
The basic components are a roux made of roughly equal parts thickener and fat, to which water or flavourful liquid* is added .
- You don't have to, but I like to toast the flour in a dry pan on med-low while stirring constantly for a few minutes, till the flour gets slightly darker, and slightly aromatic. You don't have to do this, and I don't if I'm in a real hurry.
set the flour aside while you warm the fat:
-In the same or other small pan, warm the fat gently, over low heat. If it smokes, you're way off base, and the oil has become toxic; discard and start again. I use olive oil, but if I want a buttery taste, use olive and 1/2 Earth Balance margarine. If using, garlic through a press or minced can be added now; another reason to heat low, as garlic can come to a burn quickly.
- Soon as the fat's warmed, add the flour while constantly mixing with a wire whisk, (or fork) keeping the utensil in contact with the bottom of the pan so it doesn't stick.
- Soon as the flour's absorbed, start adding the liquid while stirring constantly over low heat till it starts to bubble and thicken. If it doesn't thicken, you didn't add enough flour. Add more, and it doesn't need to be pretoasted. If it gets too thick and pasty, add more liquid, and now is when I add "the optionals"; whatever herbs or spices, curry powder, oregano, a pinch of dry mustard, cayenne, or broth powder, salt & pepper, etc. and pre sauted onions, mushrooms, peppers or whatever. If I were adding any nutritional yeast, that goes in just after I've taken it off the stove, and of course it immediately melts right in.
* What you can use as your flavourful liquids is almost limitless: pureed vegtables or left over soup, Tamari, Braggs, soy or other milks, wine or beer... I save my veg cooking water, left over soup, pureed veggies, etc., in ice cube trays or small jars in the freezer. For if I open a quart of veg broth stock for a recipe, whatever I didn't use automatically goes into the trays. I don't like to leave stuff too long in the freezer, so if I didn't use it in a reasonable time, say a few weeks, all of the jars or cubes go into the Sunday Soup Pot. For veg cooking water, that could be almost anything, even onion skins, potato peels, pea pods, corn husks, carrot or turnip trimmings; that's almost limitless too, but I only like to use organic or from my garden, as pesticides are thought to concentrate more in the skins. My 'bottle washings' go into those freezer jars or cube trays too - this would include the 1/2" spaghetti sauce in the bottom of the jar, or maybe a bit of Bbq sauce that's finished. I pour a tiny bit of liquid in an swish it around before the jar gets tossed into the recycling bin. The thing is, I like flavour; remember, you don't have those flavourful meat drippings to rely on.
* Asian type sauces are sort of on the same principal, but the thickener is cornstarch (not toasted) added to cold water or flavoured liquid so it doesn't lump up. Typical flavours added are ginger, garlic, hot sauce, Tamari, and if adding Miso, like the nutritional yeast, it gets added at the end, as you want the heat exposure gentle.
View this orginal post in Vegan-Vegetarian Recipe discussion board