It all started when we went to LA in the beginning of December. It was there that I got to taste the absolutely delicious (maybe life-changing?) food of Jessica Koslow. We liked it so much we went there every morning. On the first day we got the kofta burger and buckwheat pancakes, the second day green eggs and (onion) jam and seared polenta with veggies, and the last day a ricotta toast with jam and a chicken and rice bowl. Our morning trip to Sqirl was our highlight of the day.
Later in the same trip we found ourselves in a book store in Brentwood. It was filled with a great selection of novels, art books, and trendy cookbooks, among them Everything I Want to Eat: Sqirl and the New California Cooking. It was then that I turned to Ayan and said "You're getting me this for my birthday!"
Like a good husband he did and my romance with Jessica Koslow's cooking took off. The book could've easily gathered dust on our shelves next to the dozens of film school books I've been begging Ayan to get rid of, but I actually tried it out. On Wednesday, after a few hours of prep and cooking, I came out of the kitchen with chicken kofta on rosemary sprigs, garlic schmear, and a cabbage and kumquat salad.
Then Sunday came around and I pulled out the book again. This time I tried recipe for the buckwheat pancakes we had back in December and without surprise it was good, very good.
It's hard to explain what makes Sqirl and Koslow's cooking so obsession-worthy. But I think it has to do with the fact that Koslow has a relaxed attitude towards healthy eating. New Yorkers are intense. We go all-in on the latest health trends; there's a cafe that serves only vegan cardamom lattes and a food stand that serves only bone broth. But Sqirl is not afraid to offer a fat slice of brioche toast with ricotta and jam next to a light brown rice porridge. The Sqirl style: it's the best thing we've brought back with us from LA, just in time for the new year.