Most Louisianians believe you can't make a good gumbo without a roux. That may be so, but, as it turns out, you can make a roux without exhaustively stirring it over a hot stove. Alton Brown, host of Good Eats, offers cramped wrists and sweating brows a respite with his simple, indirect cooking method. Heat an oven to 350°. Whisk equal parts canola oil and flour in an 8-qt. Dutch oven; bake, uncovered, until the color reaches the requisite dark brown, about 1½–2 hours. Then simply transfer the pot from the oven to your stove and make your gumbo. We love this technique because it leaves us free to do other things, like make a stock, while the roux darkens without any fuss.