You may know Chef Nina Compton from her many awards, and Season 11 of Top Chef. However, the best way to get to know her and her food is bellying up to the bar at either Compère Lapin, or Bywater American Bistro. Since we can't do that right now, she has put together a gumbo recipe to bring a little warmth to your quarantine cooking.
1 cup onion diced
1 celery stalk diced
1 cup green bell peppers diced
6 oz crawfish tails cleaned, reserve shells for stock. Also fine to use head and shell on shrimp
1 tbs cayenne
1 cup canola oil
¾ cup flour
2 tsp file powder
4 tbs sliced scallions
Salt as needed
1 cup white rice
Place the crawfish (or shrimp) shells in a pot with your bayleaf and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes, then strain and keep the stock you've just made.
For your roux, in a dutch oven on low heat, add the oil, flour, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 45 mins stirring constantly until the color changes from amber to creamy coffee color. When we say constantly we mean constantly. Grab a stool and do not walk away from the stove. Roux can burn extremely quickly so it needs to always be on the move.
Add andouille sausage and render for 1 minute. Add the onions, celery, peppers and salt to taste. Saute for 2 minutes more.
Once you've sautéed add the cayenne and stock. Simmer for 10 mins, add file and simmer for 45 minutes - you're almost there. Make sure you are skimming the excess fat while cooking. Check consistency, it should be slightly viscous, and then then add the crawfish tails. Simmer for 3 mins to warm the seafood. Serve with cooked white rice and top with scallions.