The constant denominator during this trip has been, as anticipated, food. I can’t stop eating. In Venice, I downed as much seafood as my stomach could muster, especially Venetian specialties such as“Baccala alla Vicentina” (cod baked in milk with anchovies and capers and served with stiff squares of polenta) and “Seppie alla Veneziana” (squid cooked with squid ink and also served with polenta – pasta can be added to it. It’s out of this world delicious!).
While in Bologna, I am under the care of my mother who is hellbent on preparing all my favourite dishes – today it’s “cotoletta” or what we would call “Milanese” . I don’t typically love fried food or, better, I love it but try to stay away from it but my mother can fry like no other: her food is light as a feather and she doesn’t even own a fryer. Cotolette can be made with veal (if you can afford it at $22 a pound and if your conscience allows you), pork cutlets or chicken breasts.
4 veal or chicken cutlets
salt and pepper
bread crumbs a.n.
- Pound the meat (or have the butcher do it) until less a 1/4″ thin. Squeeze some lemon juice on it and set aside.
- In a bowl, beat eggs, salt and pepper to taste and 4 tbs of grated parmesan. Steep the meat in the egg mixture for an hour or two (keeping it refrigerated).
- When ready to fry, dip the meat in enough bread crumbs to cover and fry in a frying pan where you have already heated 1” of vegetable oil. The secret to light fried food is to make sure the oil is hot enough. It will have reached almost smoking point when you a few bread crumbs drop into it will immediately sizzle.
- Fry until deep golden and transfer to a plate covered with absorbent paper. Serve immediately.
- If you don’t want your hair to reek of fried oil, cover it with a shower cap while frying. Hideously unattractive but Annarosa swears by it.