In a 2-gallon saucepot, combine fish stock, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Add roux and allow to thicken. Reduce heat and simmer slowly. Add dissolved file powder and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, skimming frequently.
In separate saucepot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, peppers, and tomatoes, and saute until tender. Add seafood and cook for another 10 minutes, being cautious not to overcook. Add this mixture to the gumbo base and simmer for another 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper, to taste.
Ladle into bowls and top each with 3 or 4 pieces of fried okra.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Pour melted margarine into a baking pan, and mix in flour evenly. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a dark brown color.
Fill a large, heavy pot halfway full with oil. Heat oil to 350 degrees F.
Mix eggs and water in a bowl. Put flour in a separate bowl. Put corn flour in a separate bowl. Dip okra in flour, then eggs, and then corn flour. Carefully add okra to oil and deep fry for 5 minutes. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Randy Buck, Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans, LA