This picture caught my eye in today's NY Times. Crispy Lamb with Cumin, Scallions, and Red Chiles looks fantastic for several reasons. One, it uses Lamb Shoulder, a tougher (hence, cheaper) cut of the lamb that happens to be meltingly tender when cooked just right. Second, fire-this dish is packed with red chiles for heat. This dish is Dongbei, which means it is from the northeastern part of China, lesser known for its food but none the less still delicious. Influenced by Mongolian flavors, the cumin seeds might surprise you in a Chinese dish. If you happen to be around Queens in New York you can go get this dish at a restaurant called Northeast Taste. If not, give it a shot at home-simple, spicy, and belly warming. (photo from Evan Sung for The New York Times)
Flourless Chocolate Cake has always been one my favorite desserts. Its dense and moist, almost like a chocolate truffle. It keeps well, in fact I think it actually tastes better the day after you make it. In the Portland Oregonian a recipe for Flourless Chcolate Torte is hidden under the banner of a gluten-free Valentine's dessert but don't let that scare you. With a simple ingredient list of chocolate, eggs, sugar, cocoa, and vanilla, this is a cake any sweet lover would swoon over. Remember, intensely chocolatey recipes like this call for the best chocolate and cocoa you can find. Avoid the "baking chocolate" you see in the market and head for the bars you want to eat. Bittersweet or Semisweet work best and I love the Scharffenberger 70%.