Whenever my sister visits my mother from Rome, she invariably has one culinary request. “Will you make me cotolette for dinner?”. Can’t say I blame her. My mom’s veal cutlets are just the best in the world as she has a way with frying that consistently yields crispy and delicate results.
I recently got a craving for cotoletta myself, something I would never order at any Italian restaurant because it never tastes of home and because veal is hard to come by on most menus. Otherwise known as Milanese, cotoletta is a thin veal or chicken cutlet, lightly breaded and pan-fried. My mom’s version has a secret, in the shape of Parmesan cheese.
On Halloween, I decided to keep the spirits and ghosts at bay with my frying. It might be they got spooked by my mad pounding of chicken breasts with my cast iron pan – Ottie was indeed mighty startled – until I got them really thin. I will confess that, as much as I love the taste of veal, the horrific price per pound and the mental vision of baby cattle usually make me default towards poultry. Not as tasty but still pretty good.
4 veal or chicken cutlets, pounded very thin
1/4 C Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 C Bread Crumbs
Salt and Pepper to taste
3 T Canola oil
1 T Butter
1 T Lemon juice
- Break the eggs in a shallow bowl and add the Parmesan. Mix thoroughly.
- Spread the breadcrumbs in a shallow bowl and add salt and pepper to taste.
- Heat the oil and butter in a non-stick wide frying pan. Make sure the mixture is very hot before starting to pan-fry.
- Squeeze some lemon juice on the chicken or veal cutlets (if you are using chicken, I would recommend seasoning it with some salt and pepper). One at a time, dip them in the eggs, then drop them in the breadcrumbs. Make sure they are thoroughly covered without over coating.
- Place them in the sizzling oil/butter and cook for 2 or 3 minutes per side. They should look deep golden.
- Once cooked, place them on paper towel to absorb some of the grease before serving.
- If you need to fry in batches, keep them warm in a 250F oven.