Ramen Hood

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As a frequent out of town guest of Grand Central Market, I try to find a new spot to eat every time I visit. Top Chef’s Ilan Hall’s vegan ramen joint was the perfect spot for me this trip. The site of several patrons sitting at the counter hunched over a large bowl of curled noodles in a delicious steamy broth with chopsticks in hand drew me in. Ramen Hood usually has a decent sized line that moves somewhat quickly. You basically order your bowl and do your best to find a seat at the counter or one of the surrounding tables in the market. Menu choices are various ramen bowls, some sides and some add-on’s for your ramen (vegan egg, bean sprouts, oysters, mushrooms, etc). They also have a combo special that includes ramen, a side and a drink.

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I eat anything spicy and went for the Spicy Ramen. They have a variety of small plates to choose from for a side and I chose the avocado toast (a new thing I’m really into) for mine. The Spicy Ramen isn’t super spicy but they have plenty of ingredients on the counter that you can add more spice to it. The broth is very rich and milky because it’s made from sunflower seeds that are roasted and pressure cooked to obtain its natural oils. They also simmer kelp, white miso, onions and mushrooms in the broth. My Ramen bowl was fantastic and full of all types of flavor. The egg that is added in is vegan. The avocado toast was a pleasant surprise. It was one of the best avocado toast I have ever had (and I made my own creations at home). I’m not vegan and was really surprised how flavorful and filling everything was. I also enjoyed sitting at a counter and watching the kitchen staff work their magic. This was a really nice visit to the Market and Ramen Hood. I’m looking forward to a future visit.

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Avocado Toast

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Spicy Ramen

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Ramen Hood Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Hatch Chiles

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I love hatch chile season! Around this time of year, our neighboring state New Mexico harvests and ships these delicious chiles to Arizona for us to roast and spice up some of our favorite dishes (they are grown in a town called Hatch). They are calorie and cholesterol-free and high in fiber and vitamin A & C. Roasting them is the best way to bring out the flavors. It’s fun and easy and really balances out the flavors in many dishes. But be careful – they can be hot!

 Roasting Hatch Chiles

* – from azcentral

1. Because touching fresh chiles can sting the skin, it’s best to wear disposable gloves when handling. Select chiles that are firm to the touch and devoid of puckering, a sign the chiles are beginning to deteriorate. Wash well and dry.

2. Place chiles on a grill and roast about 3 minutes until the skin begins to blister. The key is blistering the skin without cooking the chile.

3. When chiles are blistered on one side, use long tongs to turn them. Continue until the chiles are generously blistered on all sides. Place in a plastic bag, seal and allow to sweat for about 5 minutes. Sweating loosens the blistered skin.

4. Place chiles under running water and gently “pop” or pull off the stem. Use your fingers to remove the skin.

5. When done, the chiles will be ready to chop and use in your favorite dish. Or wrap well in freezer-proof bags, and the chiles will keep for up to a year, or until next year’s fresh harvest.

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Speed Scratch Hatch Chile Cornbread

* – from Shockingly Delicious

Ingredients
1/3 cup milk
1 egg
2 Hatch chiles, roasted, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 (8.5-ounce) box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix

Instructions
Heat oven to 400F degrees. Spray a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
In a 4-cup measure, add milk. Add egg and whisk well with a fork to combine. Stir in chiles. Stir in corn muffin mix, just until moist. Do not overmix. Allow to rest undisturbed for 4 minutes for maximum crown.
Restir slightly and scrape into prepared loaf pan. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool for a couple of minutes, and serve warm.
Serves 4.

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