The city of Milan in Italia is a beautiful international metropolis known for his focus in the world of art, fashion, literature, theatre, music, and, of course, their local cuisine. Every region and city in Italia has its own local special dishes unique to its history and people and Milan is a perfect example of this concept.
The Milanese are very proud of their local dishes, one of the top favorites is their Cotoletta alla Milanese. Unlike the American version of veal cutlet, this is the style of cutlet I grew up with, a lighter fresher dish very similar in style to the German speciality, Weiner Schnitzel.
In today’s modern time, the Milanese locals tend to use lemon instead of the heavier butter finish and sometimes you will even find it with a topping of tomato sugo with rucola (arugula greens) on the side; this tomato sugo version is used most often during the cold winter months for a heartier meal.
I love to prepare this veal bone-in rib version, but for a simpler and easier option, I use a thin veal cutlet, pounded to perfection. These cook up faster and make a great leftover option for special lunch sandwiches combined with fresh greens and cheese the next day.
cotoletta di vitello alla milanese
4 to 6 veal cutlets, pounded and trimmed of all fat
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 to 1 cup finely ground fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted in the oven
fresh butter or olive oil, if preferred (My famiglia uses olive oil as butter was rare in our dishes)
salt and pepper to taste
fresh Italian parsley
1 whole lemon
In a deep dish, beat the eggs with a bit of salt and pepper; set aside. Next, using a metal or wood mallet; pound the veal cutlets until thin and tenderized.
Dip each side of the cutlet in the beaten eggs and then in the toasted fresh breadcrumbs, making sure each cutlet is completely coated. Preheat the butter or olive oil (whichever you prefer here) in a deep non-stick skillet on medium high heat and fry the cutlets until they are evenly golden brown on both sides.
Once finished, you can remove the cutlets from the skillet and drain on a clean paper towel in a flat dish; set aside.
Make a fresh green salad by placing the arugula greens and topping with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese. Drizzle with fresh lemon juice and olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. Blend well and serve along with the cutlets and fresh lemon wedges and chopped fresh parsley to top the cutlets before eating.
You can also choose to serve it along with a fresh green salad as I did here; a mixture of mixed organic greens, heart of palm, tomatoes, baby cucumbers and fresh fennel fronds, simply dressed with olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt to taste.
Note: Photography provided by Annette L. Venditti