Cotolleta alla Milanese
Calling it a cotoletta is stretching the truth a bit, it’s wiener schnitzel, even though it is all the same in the end, one is cooked in butter, the other in olive oil. I opted for the butter because that is the way that I grew up eating cutlet, cotoletta, wiener schnitzel. My mother always made it with turkey because of her two picky daughters, I made it with veal now that I am not so picky, but I think that she had a good thing going with the turkey, I like it a whole lot better. I’ll remember that the next time.
La Cotoletta is most commonly prepared in Milan and one of Italy’s financial capital’s most popular dishes. I can only imagine that the recipe came from the many years of Austrian-Hungarian rule in Northern Italy. I grew up eating it because I have a Dutch mother, who learned to make it from her mother and so on.
Cotoletta alla Milanese or Wiener Schnitzel
- breadcrumbs (they are always better when you make your own)
- beaten egg (1 or 2, depending on how many cutlets you are preparing)
- very thin veal cutlets (or turkey)
- olive oil for cotoletta and butter for the schnitz
To get the crispiness you want, you ideally need to pound the veal cutlets to make them as thin as possible. I used a small cast-iron pan to pound them, which worked well. Trim off any fat and coat them first in egg (with a little salt added) and then in breadcrumbs.
When you have coated all your veal, heat the oil or the butter in a heavy-bottomed frying pan to a high heat. When the butter has melted or the oil is hot, turn the heat down to medium-low. The cutlets should be fried on each side for a few minutes until golden brown. Place on a plate with kitchen towel to drain the oil as you cook your way through the cutlets.
If you are making a lot, you may need to change the oil or the butter because it will fill with crumbs and start to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze on top.
The Milanese tend to eat la cotoletta with fresh tomatoes chopped on the side, the schitzel goes well with potatoes and a green. I made mine with mashed potatoes with a ton of butter and green beans tossed with lemon and garlic.