What's In A Name?
Recently I encouraged my readers not to be intimidated by the fancy names that are often attached to recipes. At the time I wrote about recipes with impressive sounding names like Bouillabaisse (a.k.a. fish soup, pictured here) and Beef Bourguignon (beef stew). I hope by now some of you have surrendered your inhibitions about attempting dishes like these. Because once you get past their fancy names the dishes themselves are really not difficult to make.
In this post I’d like to add another one of those dishes to your list: Pork Milanese, a beautiful looking - albeit intimidating sounding - Italian pork recipe that has become a favorite of mine of late.
Until recently, I hadn't had Pork Milanese in over a year. The last time I had it was when we ate at a delightful little bistro named Le Pinocchio in Monte Carlo. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that their dish was epic! A few days ago I developed a craving for the dish, so I decided to prepare it for my guests. I’m happy to report that I was able to come very close to Le Pinocchio’s standards. In fact, I’d say it was “spot on.” So I couldn’t wait to share it with you here on the blog.
Let me start by telling you that this dish goes by a number of different “aliases,” depending on where you are.
What is Pork Milanese to the Italians is Wiener Schnitzel to
the Germans, and Pork Francese to the French! Yes, chefs tweak their recipes slightly for these dishes to give them character, but for the most part, Milanese, Schnitzel, and Francese are all prepared the same way. No matter what you call it, the method for making these dishes is really quite simple. Let me break it down for you:
Pound 4-6 individual pork chops to ¼” thickness.
Prepare 3 bowls for dredging. One of each:
2 cups all-purpose flour seasoned with salt and pepper.
2 large eggs, whisked together until smooth.
2 cups fine bread crumbs, mixed with ½ cup parmesan (optional).
Place large sauté pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 4 tablespoons unsalted butter. Heat until butter has melted and the foam has cooked off.
Working one at a time, dredge pork chops in flour. Then dip in eggs to coat completely. Finally, dredge in bread crumbs.
Increase heat under sauté pan to medium high. Place 2-3 pork chops at a time in pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes on each side. (If necessary, reduce heat to medium so the meat does not burn).
Remove cooked meat from pan and set aside. Tent lightly with a sheet of aluminum foil while you make a quick pan sauce, if desired.
Now wasn’t that easy? And the results are absolutely spectacular! But be prepared. When you share this dish with your guests, they’ll surely come back for more! And one more thing: you can also make this dish with chicken or veal. See how incredible it is?
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