For Jessica Koslow of L.A. restaurant Squirl, Thanksgiving means a long weekend filled with food, family and friends.
When I opened my restaurant, Sqirl, in L.A. four years ago, I never took a day off. We're open seven days a week. My staff and I even worked on Thanksgiving, making sides and desserts for people to take home. But last year, for the first time, I decided to give myself a break. I closed the restaurant not just on the holiday but for the whole weekend--and that's how the 72-hour Thanksgiving was born.
Around the time when you start craving your first helping of leftovers all the way through Sunday night became my favorite stretch: 72 hours to do nothing but connect with family and friends. I opened the door and everyone came in and took off their shoes, ready to exchange ideas, eat, drink and watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
These recipes are all great examples of how I like to cook and eat during those 72 hours and in general. (I’ve been called a squirrel myself because I like to nibble on small bites of various things throughout the day.) At Sqirl, we open first thing in the morning and close at 4 p.m., with a menu that features morning food, sweets, savories, salads and bowls—the kind of food you could crave any time of day.
The dishes I’m sharing here are super-versatile, they find flavor in brightness (like a squeeze of lemon on jam-stuffed French toast or a ton of snipped dill in a basmati rice bowl) and they can all be enjoyed in a variety of ways. The pork- and-slaw sandwiches, slathered with aioli on fragrant homemade seeded rolls, can be eaten with gusto all in one sitting—or that same pork-slaw filling could become the topping for a hearty vegetable-packed bowl. The crunchy nut-and-puffed-millet mix is an addictive snack, but it also makes a killer salad or ice cream sprinkle. If you ask me, this is the best way to build meals and enjoy them with friends during 72 of the most relaxing hours of the year.
Jam-Stuffed Brioche French Toast
Jessica Koslow started making jam in Los Angeles and soon developed such a huge following that she had to expand her business, and Sqirl was born; this is just one of the showcases for jam you’ll find there.
Browning the pork first, then wrapping it in heavy-duty foil to roast, traps in all the great flavor and keeps the meat superjuicy.
Dinner Rolls with Nigella Seeds and Flaky Sea Salt
These are the best rolls you can make—they’re easy and light, with just the right texture for eating alone or in a sandwich.
Shred the cabbages in a food processor using the slicing disk and no pressure.
Koslow is known for her rice bowls topped with raw and cooked vegetables, proteins, pickles and crispies. Use this fragrant rice as a base to up your leftovers game.
This recipe comes from Sqirl cook Paul Everett, who has a knack for pasta. It’s the crispy roasted Broccolini leaves that make it special. You can substitute any kind of pasta--even gnocchi.
Great for brunch, lunch or a light supper, you can dress up these gluten-free pancakes with smoked fish, horseradish crème fraîche and poached or fried eggs. Or make minis and serve with cocktails.
If you happen to have leftover squash from your Thanksgiving feast, by all means use it here.
This mix was inspired by the sesame candy that was one of two sweets in the pantry when Koslow was growing up. Sprinkle it on salads and veggies for a little crunch.
Sticky Toffee Whole-Wheat Date Cake
Koslow’s take on a classic sticky toffee pudding gets a big boost of flavor from plump Medjool dates and hearty whole-wheat flour. It's perfect for breakfast or dessert.
Hazelnut-Rosemary Caramel Tart
This tart was created by Sqirl’s amazing pastry chef, Meadow Ramsey, who rose to the challenge of making a nutty holiday tart without corn syrup and ended up with this brown rice syrup, honey and brown sugar masterpiece with the best-ever caramel custard filling.