"I love making this lentil soup when the weather begins to cool," says 2017 Food & Wine Best New Chef Nina Compton, chef-owner of New Orleans hot spot Compère Lapin. "The ham-hock aroma hangs around the kitchen beautifully; the smell alone makes you warmer. Adding a little ginger and lemongrass brightens the soup and reminds me of being back home in St. Lucia. Using local okra reminds me of my Louisiana home and adds a different texture." To make your own croutons for this rich, brothy ham hock and lentil soup, toss 3 cups of cubed baguette with 3 tablespoons butter and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt; bake at 375°F, stirring three times, until toasted, about 15 minutes.
At Bellegarde Bakery in New Orleans, baker Graison Gill is part of a generation of renegade bakers who are eschewing industrially ground white flour in favor of grinding their own flours from crops like red Ruby Lee wheat and heirloom corn. “White flour is a corpse,” says Gill. “It’s a dead, shelf-stable product. Freshly stone-milled flour is a living ingredient, full of flavor, texture, aroma, nutrition, and nuance.” Buy Bellegarde Bakery’s stone-ground flour online at bellegardebakery.com. Lemon filling highlights the nuttiness of buckwheat flour in these shortbread cookie sandwiches from Nina Compton. Substituting store-bought buckwheat flour will yield a less nutty cookie. Be sure to store either flour in the freezer.
F&W Best New Chef 2017 Nina Compton, of Compère Lapin in New Orleans, lived in Jamaica for a few years. As a result, she created this jerk-style rub, which she uses on meaty pork shanks before slowly braising them in the oven. For balance, she serves the rich shanks alongside a summery and sprightly grilled peach salad. Slideshow: More Pork Recipes
F&W Best New Chef 2017 Nina Compton, of Compère Lapin in New Orleans, makes the most delicious version of Jamaican escovitch, combining the classic crispy pan-fried fish with a sweet and spicy pepper sauce.
For juicy, flavorful chicken, New Orleans chef Nina Compton soaks her drumsticks in a simple brine for 45 minutes before she grills them. This is her summer version of the dish, which changes throughout the year: She uses butternut squash and mushrooms in the fall and fresh fava beans, English peas and fiddlehead ferns in the spring. Slideshow: More Chicken Recipes