Chef’s Corner: A rich dish with a rich history
I have recently assembled a classic Italian meal at Traditions on the Beach that includes a very old, uncomplicated dish that dates back 800 years. I’m talking about Cotoletta di Vitello Milanese. It is a simple dish to make.
Milan is 200 miles from Vienna and both regions have a similar veal dish. During the middle ages in northern Italy and Vienna, veal was the customary consumed meat; baby beef that had been fed only mother’s milk. Properly cooked veal has a magnificent taste impossible to duplicate with any other meat.
The Austrian counterpart to Cotelleta Milanese is the far better known Wiener Schnitzel which is derived from and old German word meaning “to slice.” So basically it refers to sliced veal Vienna style. Tenderizing meat by pounding is an old cooking technique from the dawn of history.
Veal alia Milanese was first prepared in the 12th century and Wiener Schnitzel centuries later.
In the 19th century, Milan was part of the Autro-Hungarian Empire. A Milanese cook went from Milan to Vienna to work at the court of the emperor. While in Vienna he introduced the breaded veal cutlet to Viennese society, who embraced it with passion. This breaded veal Milanese is also made in France where it is called Escalope de veau Milanese and served with hard-boiled eggs and anchovies.
Cotoletta di Vitello Milanese
4 veal chops
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup of milk
Juice of 1 lemon
1 egg, beaten
3 cups arugula
1 teaspoon of olive oil
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1 teaspoon of water
2 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cup breadcrumbs
3 tablespoon butter
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley
1 lemon, quartered
Put the veal chops on a cutting board and cover them with a large piece of plastic wrap. With a meat mallet, pound the veal to 1/4 inch thick. In three separate bowls, put the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs. Lightly whisk the eggs. Stir the parmesan into the breadcrumbs. Season the veal chops with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off excess, then dip them in egg and breadcrumbs to coat.
Heat a large saut pan over medium heat and add olive oil and butter. When fat is hot add the veal chops and cook until golden brown for 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove and place on paper towels to drain until ready to serve.
In a large bowl combine lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of salt, whisk in the extra olive oil. Add the arugula, tomatoes and gently toss to coat evenly. To serve, place a veal chop in the center of each plate and top with arugula salad. Enjoy!
Recipe is courtesy of Chef Aziz of Traditions on the Beach, 3111 West Gulf Drive in the historic Island Inn. For more information or to make a reservation call 239-472-4559 or visit www.TraditionsOnTheBeach.com.