Every Christmas Eve, my family goes to church then heads to an Italian restaurant for dinner. A couple years ago, my husband ordered a special: pork Milanese. It was a pork cutlet pounded thin, breaded and fried and topped with a beautiful arugula, tomato and mozzarella salad. He loved it – I’m pretty sure the mozzarella sealed the deal.
As I am prone to do, I decided I could recreate such deliciousness at home. So I scoured my cookbooks for recipes for pork Milanese, veal Milanese, etc. None of them quite hit the mark, so I made up my own. Can I just tell you how easy this is? The pork gets a quick dip in flour, egg, and a Panko/parmesan mixture; then it goes into a pan of hot olive oil. Put it on a plate and top with arugula, tomatoes and chunks of mozzarella. Drizzle with balsamic and olive oil and bam! Happy husband! (And more importantly, happy kids too…)
Finally, get uber-fancy with your pork Milanese and add a charred lemon. (It’s not hard, see below.) It adds a little brightness to the dish.
- 4 boneless pork loin chops
- ½ cup flour
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Extra virgin olive oil, for frying, plus extra for salad
- 1 lemon, halved (optional)
- 2 cups baby arugula
- ½ cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup mozzarella cheese, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
- A few shavings of fresh Parmesan cheese
- Trim all fat off the pork cutlets then pound them on both sides (Cover them with a piece of plastic wrap to make less mess). Season on both sides with salt and pepper.
- Place the flour on one plate. In a shallow dish, beat the eggs. Mix together the panko and grated Parmesan on another small plate. Set next to the stove.
- In a large saute pan, heat about ¼ inch of olive oil over medium high heat. You want the oil hot, but not smoking.
- Take one pork cutlet and dip it in the flour, shaking off excess. Dip in the egg, then the panko mixture. Slide it into the pan and repeat with remaining cutlets. Fry them for 3-4 minute a side, depending on thickness. If they appear to be browning too fast, reduce the heat. Drain on paper towels to remove excess oil.
- While the pork chops cook, rub the cut side of each lemon half with a few drop of olive oil them place cut side down in a small pan over medium high heat. Cook until the lemon is blackened. Set aside. When cool enough to handle, cut them in half so you have 4 pieces of lemon.
- In a bowl, combine the arugula, tomatoes and mozzarella. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top along with a little olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To serve, place a pork cutlet on each plate. Top with some of the salad. Shave some fresh Parmesan over the top of the salad and serve with one of the lemon wedges.