Blind baking a pie shell—prebaking it filled with weights before adding the pie filling—helps ensure a crisp bottom crust in custard pies, and is a must if you're using an unbaked filling. To prevent your blind-baked crusts from shrinking, slumping, or puffing, check out Chowhounds' advice on pricking and chilling the dough, and why cheap pans can give the best results.
After the fish counter closes, the party begins at Calle 191 Pescaderia. Late at night, the shop morphs into a hot spot for cheap beer, cooked or raw seafood, and Latin specialties like empanadas and asopao (rice soups), to a soundtrack of Dominican bachata music.
Could those cheap, convenient disposable aluminum roasting pans pose a fire danger in your oven? Find out what kinds of jobs thin aluminum pans can handle safely—and for jobs they can't, get suggestions for budget-friendly alternatives.
For baked potatoes with fluffy interiors and deliciously crispy skin, how should you prep them for the oven? Find out the merits of leaving the potatoes bare versus rubbing them with oil, and whether it ever makes sense to wrap them in foil.
The dressed-up Indian cooking at Pippali is winning over Chowhounds. Opened in September by veterans of Tamarind, Chola, and Chennai Garden (whose old space Pippali occupies), the newcomer offers a pan-subcontinental menu that ranges from tandoori meats to southern-style dosa to the lamb-and-grain stew haleem (pictured).
La Cañada Flintridge isn’t known for its culinary offerings, but the Flintridge Proper gives new reason to visit the hillside suburb. The bar and kitchen, designed by Gjelina architect Sam Marshall, has something to please everyone, from spicy duck wings and house-made pickles to fresh-baked pastries at breakfast. Then there’s the cocktail bar, packed with hundreds of types of gin.
Is Ridgewood the next Williamsburg? The arrival of Houdini Kitchen Laboratory will only encourage that kind of talk. Opened six weeks ago in a brewery-turned-art-space by the owner of the fondly remembered Miss Williamsburg diner, it's turning out first-rate thin-crust pizza that Chowhounds consider the neighborhood's best.
Plotting a trip to Sonoma County during Christmas week? Locals recommend the "unpretentious, casual" flair at places like Cafe Citti, Fremont Diner, and El Molino Central.