I recently flew to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport from JFK Airport and back. The 6-7 hour flights were on KLM, Royal Dutch Airlines. I was glad to be hosted to be able to experience it! During longer flights like that, though they aren’t considered the “long hauls” that trips to Asia involve, you’ll get a meal and a snack in Economy Class. One of the meals happens to be something I made almost every day all throughout law school — tasty! — so, I’ll give you my recipe at the end.
So, what was it like? Well, heading out to Amsterdam, the flight wasn’t very crowded. It allowed the passengers to spread out, get comfy and the flight crew was very friendly. On these flights in Economy Class, you can go to the galley at any time for extra beverages. The crew on KLM welcomes you with a hot towel, which I had previously only experienced in other airlines’ Business Class.
Dinner was beef with mashed potato or vegetarian pasta. I picked beef. The beef was in a sweet BBQ sauce. The mashed potatoes had a sprinkling of minced chives. The meal was served served with a wrapped slice of Tillamook orange cheddar cheese, cream crackers, a roll, an enjoyable mixed salad with lots of feta cheese, grape tomato, shaved carrots, iceberg lettuce and salted oil. For dessert, there was a fudgy brownie — not dry cake-like — with very dark chocolate and crushed nuts.
It would be good to know when choosing whether a meal has a sauce, because some people don’t care for certain sauces — like BBQ — or they don’t like sauces when traveling. Also, in a perfect world, I would get rid of certain redundancies, like two cheeses in a meal or multiple bread items. Of course, some people can’t get enough bread at the dinner table!
In the morning, a muffin, strawberry yogurt and Minute Maid orange juice was served.
Coming back to the USA, I waited for my meal in the coolest way: free language courses on the video monitor! KLM through Berlitz offers 23 language course games with cartoons to help you pick out a few new words.
For the main meal, the choice was between chicken (with curry sauce, which I had heard people talking about on another flight) or vegetarian pasta. I was absolutely thrilled to see that the pasta was one of my go-to dishes for many years, penne with tomato-veggie sauce and melted (white) cheese. I’ve even served it to guests. Their version had diced zucchini and minced red pepper on top.
Also served was a wrapped wedge of Beemster Dutch cheese. I read this about the cheese: “Over four hundred years ago in 1612, a former inland sea was drained, resulting in Holland’s first reclaimed polder. It became a unique area and was even added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1999. Nowadays, this ground produces the rich grass that our happy cows use to make the best milk of The Netherlands. And that milk forms the basis for the best cheeses, such as our Beemster Matured. This cheese strikes the perfect balance between the spicy taste of old cheese and the soft flavor of young cheese. The best of both worlds, in one cheese!” It’s tender, like a young cheese, but with some spice. It was accompanied by table crackers.
Also served were baby mixed greens, including frisee’ with whole walnut halves, diced pumpkin, creamy potato salad on the bottom. This is a genius presentation of salad, because it doesn’t squirt around or have packages of dressing to leak onto your blouse. It had notes of black pepper and it’s nutritious!
Organic margarine was on the plate for people eating rolls, a vegan product.
Dessert was a cheesecake mousse with strawberries: I liked that it was a familiar flavor but unusual presentation.
The plastic cutlery on KLM is noteworthy and nice: It’s got a good weight and would be perfect for elegant garden parties.
If you’re not drinking wine with dinner — and there are those who advise that you don’t on planes, for better hydration and sleep patterns — order tomato juice with this meal! It really goes well.
Later in the flight, they served ice cream and water for extra hydration, but I was sleeping. Still later as a snack, we had a choice between pizza or hot apple cranberry pie. I got the pie, which was kind of an apple torte with sliced almond streusel topping and a cookie bar base.
Recipe for vegetarian pasta bake
1 handful of penne pasta per person, cooked according to package directions. If package doesn’t say — sometimes the case with Italian packaging — 12-14 minutes is safe
1/4 jar gardinera (chock full of veggies) pasta sauce per person
1/3 bar of pepper jack cheese per person, grated
olive oil for drizzling
Crystal or Tabasco hot sauce
Take cooked, drained pasta and put into loaf baking dish. Toss with cheese, pasta sauce, hot sauce to taste. Drizzle top with olive oil. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes.
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