Veal Milanese by Mariana R

5 11 2008

Veal Milanese is a very simple, yet traditional, Italian dish. I first came across this dish at Cipriani in New York two years ago and instantly fell in love with it. It is served in many Italian restaurants, and though the dish is a classic, the most popular way of serving it these days is actually an interpretation of the original.

Classically, veal milanese is prepared using thinly pounded veal escalopes. The escalopes are then breaded using the standard breading procedure. The breadcrumbs are seasoned with only salt and pepper. The breaded veal is then fried in a large amount of clarified butter to get good caramelization and a nice crispy crust. The dish is garnished with lemon wedges and parsley and traditionally served with sauteed potatoes.

The most common way I’ve seen veal milanese served these days, however, is with a salad made of arugula and grape tomatoes, as well as the lemon wedges. The salad can be eaten separately, or one can cover all the escalopes with the salad and eat it like that. I prefer covering the dish with the salad. The dish is actually pretty heavy, as it is usually served with 2 to 3 large peices of veal. This is why the modern interpretation comes with a salad instead of potatoes. Not only does it lighten up the dish, but it also gives contrasting flavours with the aciditiy of the tomatoes, as well as a nice presentation since the green and red salad really pop on the plate.

Another thing to note in the modern interpretation in veal milanese is the addition of ingredients to the once simple breadcrumb mixture. Now, one might find such ingredients as parmesan cheese, and dried herbs such as thyme and basil. All the added ingredients are to taste. It is also often cooked in extra virgin olive oil instead of clarified butter.

Works cited:
David, Elizabeth, and Julia Child. Italian Food. New York: Penguin Classics, 1999. 178-79.

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