Lately I have been inspired (INSPIRED!) by things – Southern. I just keep wanting to see and taste the things that define Southern-ness. So, one of the interesting things about that is this cookbook, A New Turn In The South is written by a Canadian. Maybe that’s what I like about it. He’s not from here (here being Georgia) but he embraces it, claims it, chases it. Hugh Acheson, maybe you know him from Top Chef. You know, he has a unibrow and a big tattoo of a radish on his forearm. (ahem, Hughnibrow) He says things in an admirably clever way. Somewhere I picked up a copy of his cookbook, maybe a gift, I can’t remember now but it is so much fun to flip through and I’ve finally started cooking from it too. Novel. One night recently Z asked for Tilapia Piccata. It is a fairly standard lightly pan fried fish with a super quick pan sauce made of butter, white wine & capers and I forget how much I like it until I’m eating it. This time even the cat got a little piece of fish which made his whole day worth living. On the side I decided to try one of Hugh’s recipes-for Squash Casserole. First you cook up a leeky cream sauce and then you layer squash with parmesan, bread crumbs and sauce. Afterward you bake the whole mess until it’s bubbly. I found it needed to be cooked about twice as long as Hugh requested in his recipe because I wanted the squash to break down and not be too toothy. The recipe was a nice departure from what I would usually do which is to either steam or pan fry the squash. It was a lot more involved but the recipe was not difficult to follow save for one thing. When I was making my leek sauce I could NOT resist adding a bit of the green part of the leek, being hesitant to just toss it. I didn’t take into account the sauce being totally pureed for use and how minty green it would make it. So, as in most things, if you follow the recipe, or the ‘rules’ you just might not have to explain what or why you did something later. You will notice my ultra green sauce in the picture. We both really liked this dish and will definitely be making it again. I’m looking forward to trying a bunch of Hugh’s pickling recipes. Can’t wait to see how he transforms humble Southern vegetables into delicious bites. I am excited about how he transforms his roots and seizes on Southern ones.