Veal Milanese, per favore!

Veal Milanese with a generous serving of Arugula and a good squeeze of lemon is a great combo for summer. This grand Milan recipe transported by Italian immigrants to the Americas is also a favourite all over Latin America. In my mother land, Chile, ‘Milanesa por favor‘ was a common request, especially in my mother’s kitchen. Often after returning from school, she would dash to the kitchen, majestically combine all the ingredients and start frying the gems until golden and crispy.

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I remember hearing the frying from the living room and watching my brother’s teasing smile as if saying she made it just for me. The aromas that came out of her kitchen made us even hungrier as we eagerly awaited for her glorious announcement, ‘esta listo, a comer – it’s ready, come and eat!’

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This is a great summer recipe that’s simple, light and can be prepared well in advance. Don’t be afraid to ask your butcher to pound the meat until you can see your fist through the veal. If your butcher is hesitant to do this, then do it yourself, otherwise change your butcher. You can have the milanese cold with a nice crispy salad. As long as you use good quality dry breadcrumbs they will remain crispy. I use my favourite sour dough breadcrumbs from Bourke Street Bakery.

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The quantity of breadcrumbs should approximately match the weight of your veal. Mix into the crumbs a good portion of Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Combine well, the cheese brings the milanese to another level.

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For frying add good olive oil to a low base pan, wait until the oil begins to bubble. Gently drop the milanese away from you. Start counting, thirty seconds on one side, quickly turn over, not more than ten seconds on the other side. The aromas from the breadcrumb mix are so tantalising.

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For the salad, I think the best match for a milanese is fresh crispy arugula. Avoid the small rocket often packed in plastic containers, that once opened are sweaty and wilted. Make an effort to find a good quality arugula bunch for this dish, as it deserves it. You can find them at your nearest Harris Farm shop. Finally cut a couple of lemons into wedges and generously squeeze the juice of one all over your milanese, now close your eyes and enjoy!

Recipe (for 4)

Milanese

  • 500g of veal – pounded until you can see your fist through the veal!
  • 500g 0f dry breadcrumbs
  • 300g of all purpose flour
  • 200g of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1 tbsp of sea salt
  • 1 tsp of grounded black pepper
  • 2 tbsp of chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 3 beaten eggs
  • 250 ml of olive oil – for frying

Salad

  • a good fresh bunch of arugola
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp of black pepper
  • 1/4 of a lemon, squeeze!
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