Tuesday, March 23, 2010

EL AL Airlines Prepares for Passover with Food Facts and Additional Recipes

In anticipation of Passover, EL AL, Israel’s national airline has begun planning for the holiday. All EL AL aircraft, every EL AL kitchen, as well as all catering equipment will undergo a thorough cleaning and rabbinical inspection. Worldwide, EL AL is the only airline that specially prepares every meal Kosher for Passover, in accordance with Jewish dietary laws. To accommodate the 15% increase in passenger traffic (compared to the same holiday period last year), EL AL is adding four jumbo 747-400 nonstop flights from New York (JFK/Newark), which is in addition to the regular schedule of 33 nonstops from the U.S.A. every week.

More than 650 pounds of gefilte fish, 400 pounds of smoked salmon, 28 gallons of horseradish, 325 pounds of smoked trout, 275 pounds of kosher for Passover assorted chocolates and more than 45,500 packages of individually wrapped matzo will be served on EL AL nonstop flights from New York (JFK/Newark). The same special holiday kashrut preparations will take place on nonstop EL AL flights departing from Los Angeles and Ben Gurion Airport in Israel to every destination worldwide. All EL AL meals are freshly prepared and only the finest healthiest ingredients are used.

On every EL AL flight during the holiday all beverages, including wine, are complimentary and Kosher for Passover. In keeping with the Passover laws, beer and whiskey, which contain grain, are removed from all flights. Matzo instead of any bread products is served with every meal. Roasted almonds and dried fruit are healthy snacks. And, EL AL uses only new and disposable dishes, glassware, and cutlery.

EL AL passengers flying from New York (JFK/Newark) in economy class during the holiday are offered an entrée choice of delicious citrus chicken with mashed potatoes & carrots or Salisbury steak with gravy, mashed potatoes & carrots paired with a grilled eggplant salad, potato salad or cabbage salad. Desserts include either delectable apricot cake or a savory raspberry cake. For breakfast, there is a choice of an herb omelet with roasted potatoes or a healthy fruit salad and yogurt paired with an assorted cookie tray.

In Platinum Business Class, there is a choice of dinner entrées: an herb roasted spring chicken breast, beef stew with sautéed mushroom sauce, or a fresh Mediterranean roasted cod fillet. All meals are served with mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Appetizers include a fennel citrus salad with smoked salmon and a horseradish dressing as well as a fresh tossed salad with a honey lemon vinaigrette dressing. For dessert, travelers can indulge in a freshly baked selection of cakes as well as chocolate pralines and fresh sliced fruit. The revitalizing breakfast includes a choice of an herb omelet with roasted potatoes or a carrot raisin and apple salad. Business Class passengers are also served a variety of cheeses accompanied by assorted yogurts and fresh cakes.

First Class passengers can select specially made entrées including grilled chicken thigh with fresh herbs, sliced beef steak with mushroom sauce, and filet of bass with Mediterranean sauce. All are served with fresh vegetables and roasted potatoes. A variety of tasty tapas are offered and include mashed grilled eggplant dip, champignon in a sweet chili sauce, fennel in citrus dressing and matza. The “soup of the day” is a savory cream of sweet potato. A fresh garden salad with balsamic vinaigrette or olive oil and lemon dressing is also served. For the sweet tooth, first class passengers are tempted with assorted freshly baked cakes, chocolate pralines or fresh fruit. A delectable, healthy breakfast selection includes a choice of an herb or plain omelet with assorted yogurts and freshly baked cakes. Herb feta cheese, brie cheese with roasted pepper, gravlax flower, roasted pepper spread and a fresh fruit bowl add to this culinary experience.

Special EL AL Glatt Kosher Regal meals for Passover will also be available on all EL AL flights departing New York (JFK/Newark). As with any special meal, the Regal meals must be ordered at least 24 hours prior to departure by calling your travel agent or EL AL at (800) 223-6700.

Chef Steven Weintraub, Executive Chef of Borenstein Caterers, has worked with some of New York’s finest chefs including Wolfgang Puck, Bob Spiegel and Jean-Georges Vongerichten before joining Borenstein Caterers in September of 2007. Chef Weintraub freshly prepares all EL AL meals for flights departing New York (JFK/Newark).
EL AL passengers can create a wonderful Passover cuisine at home with the following five recipes from Borenstein Caterers: Cauliflower-Leek Kugel with an Almond-Herb Crust, Leek-Parsley Matzo Balls & Halibut With Carrots, Fennel, Lemon and Garlic.

a la Executive Chef Steven Weintraub of Borenstein Caterers
- 2 medium heads cauliflower florets (8 cups)
- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 3 leeks coarsely chopped, white and pale green parts (4 cups)
- 6 tablespoons unsalted matzo meal
- 3 large eggs
- ½ cup fresh Italian parsley-chopped and divided
- ½ cup fresh dill-chopped and divided
- Salt & pepper to taste
-1/3 cup toasted chopped almonds

Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 F.
Cook cauliflower in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain; transfer to large bowl and mash coarsely with a potato masher.

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add leeks and sauté until tender and just beginning to color, about 5 minutes. Add leek mixture to cauliflower. Mix in matzo meal. Beat eggs, 1 tablespoon parsley, 1 tablespoon dill, salt, and pepper in a small bowl to blend; stir into cauliflower mixture.

Brush 11x7-inch baking dish with a tablespoon of oil. Spread cauliflower mixture evenly in prepared dish. Mix almonds, remaining parsley, dill and 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium bowl to blend. Sprinkle evenly over kugel. (Can be made hours ahead. Cover and chill.)

Bake kugel uncovered until set in center and beginning to brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting into it.
a la Executive Chef Steven Weintraub of Borenstein Caterers

Ingredients: Yield 36
- 4 large eggs
- 6 tablespoons margarine
- ½ cup leeks-finely chopped (white & pale green parts only)
- ½ cup Italian parsley-finely copped
- ¼ cup chives-finely chopped
- 1 ¼ cup matzo meal
- ½ cup club soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper

Melt margarine in skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; sauté 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add parsley and chives.

Whisk eggs in medium bowl until frothy. Whisk in leek mixture, salt and pepper. Gradually mix in matzo meal. Stir in club soda. Cover and chill batter until cold and firm, at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.

Line baking sheet with plastic wrap. Using wet hands, roll rounded teaspoon of matzo mixture into balls. Place on prepared baking sheet. Chill for 30 minutes.

Drop matzo balls into large pot of boiling salted water. Cover partially and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until matzo balls are tender, about 40 to 60 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer matzo balls to a bowl. (Can be made 2 to 3 days ahead. Cover and chill. Re-warm in your favorite broth or soup)

a la Executive Chef Steven Weintraub of Borenstein Caterers

Ingredients: Yield 8 pieces
- 1 cup olive oil, divided
- 1 large fennel bulb, halved, sliced thin (reserve tops for garnish)
- 2 large lemons--1 sliced thin, 1 cut into wedges
- 8 halibut fillets, 4 oz each
- 2 medium carrots cut into matchstick size
- 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 large bunches of fresh thyme sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled
- ½ cup white wine

Preheat oven to 450. Line large baking sheet with foil, leaving overhang as long as baking sheet. Brush foil with 1 tablespoon of oil. Scatter sliced fennel in center of foil as a bed for fish. Top fennel with lemon slices, then fish, spacing them slightly apart. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Sprinkle carrots over fish; arrange tomatoes and pour wine around fish. Drizzle 3 tablespoons of oil over fish and tomatoes. Top with thyme sprigs. Cover fish with foil overhang and seal to make a packet. Bake fish until opaque in the center, about 12-15 minutes.
Blend remaining olive oil and garlic in a blender until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Open foil pack. Drizzle blended oil over fish and vegetables. Reseal foil. Let fish cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Chill overnight.

When serving, discard thyme sprigs and garnish fish with lemon wedges and fennel fronds.

About EL AL

Celebrating more than 60 years of service, EL AL, Israel's national airline, offers the most nonstop flights between New York (JFK/Newark) and Israel as well as the only nonstop service from Los Angeles. Worldwide, EL AL flies to more than 40 destinations from Israel and serves dozens of other destinations throughout the world via partnerships with many other carriers (including 22 additional cities in the U.S.A.). Only EL AL has First Class service on nonstop flights between the U.S.A. and Israel. The airline has annual revenues of about $2.1 billion and carries more than 1.9 million passengers every year.

EL AL embodies Israel’s values of innovation and caring and the promise of a genuine Israeli welcome. Your Israel experience begins with EL AL and warm Israeli hospitality. Israeli flight attendants will make you feel at home, the best trained Israeli pilots will take you to and from Israel and passengers enjoy enhanced in-flight dining with freshly prepared healthy meals.

EL AL. It’s not just an airline. It’s Israel.

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