It seems that many cultures have a breaded and fried preparation for chicken, veal or pork. The Germans have schnitzel, the Spanish have escalope and even Americans have chicken fingers. In American-Italian cuisine, it is very common to find chicken or eggplant parmesan (which is typically covered in lots of cheese – not that there is anything wrong with that!). In Italy, itself, I have also seen a lot of dishes for protein prepared in the Milanese style. The Milanese style is essentially a very thinly pounded piece of protein, that is dipped in egg, covered in bread crumbs and pan fried in olive oil.
I think it is a really easy preparation made easier by the fact that you can substitute any protein you like. When I made this last week, I used pork tenderloin, but chicken breast would be great too.
The other thing I often see when something is prepared Milanese style, is that it is topped with lots of fresh arugula and cherry tomatoes that have been dressed lightly with lemon juice and olive oil.
To me, the freshness of the arugula and cherry tomatoes really cuts through and heaviness you might find with a fried piece of meat. I like to serve extra salad on the side so that I get a bite of arugula and cherry tomato with every bite of pork.
Pork Milanese – Serves 4
- 1 1/2 lbs pork tenderloin cut into four pieces
- 1 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 eggs
- S+P to taste
- 8 cups fresh arugula
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 cup EVOO + 2 TB EVOO for arugula
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice for arugula + lemon wedges for serving
Using a meat mallet, pound the pork out until it is very thin (about 1/3 inch thin). If you don’t have a meat mallet, most butchers are happy to do this for you. Season both sides of the pork with salt and pepper.
Beat eggs in a large shallow bowl, big enough to dredge the pork in. On a plate next the eggs, combine the parmesan and panko bread crumbs together. Once you have your assembly line set up, dredge each piece of pork in the eggs (dripping off excess) and then in the panko and parmesan mixture. Allow pork to sit with the coating on for 10-15 minutes.
Once you have allowed your pork to rest with the breading on it, pour 1/4 cup of EVOO into a large sauté pan and heat over medium high heat. Once hot (almost smoking), cook the pork in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Allow to cook for 3 minutes per side until the pork is nicely browned.
Once finished, remove from pan onto a paper towel lined plate to remove any excess oil. Sprinkle with salt and place into a 200 degree oven to keep warm while you repeat the process with the other pieces of pork.
While the pork is cooking, dress the arugula and cherry tomatoes with 1/4 cup of lemon juice, 2 TB of EVOO and salt and pepper. Mix together until the arugula is lightly coated.
Once all the pork has completed cooking, place on a large serving platter and top each one with a generous portion of arugula salad. Serve with extra lemon wedges and enjoy!