Cotoletta alla Milanese
- a fettina of milk-fed veal, in the classic Milanece recipe, but lamb and pork are also common meat alternatives.
- beaten eggs (some chefs prefer using the yolks only)
- breadcrumbs obtained, preferably, from crumb (not crust) of white stale (but not old) bread
- clarified butter to fry - often substituted with other oils.
- Clean the meat of any skins or nerves, slightly salt on both sides. Pass the meat into the eggs beaten in a deep bowl, and quickly in the breadcrums, on both sides.
- Cook in deep clarified butter or oil, already at cooking point (try with a little piece of crumb or a wooden tool to check). Pay close attention to the color of the crumbs, that should turn golden but not brown.
- Drain on a rack, or rest on paper towels as you normally do with fried food.
- Serve with mashed potatoes (which in Italy we call la morte sua, that means what this dish should be accompanied by, as in a funeral), baked potatoes or vegetables, as preferred.
Features and Varieties
History of the Cotoletta
The dispute between Milanese and Austrians began under the Austro-Hungarian Empire, when the Milanese were accused of having copied the Wiener Schnitzel. This was a Viennese recipe consisting of a thin slice of veal, never with bone, breaded and fried in lard, usually served with lettuce and/or potato salad; commonly, a slice of lemon is also added to the dish, which is squeezed from the diner on the schnitzel. A version made of pork is called Schnitzel Wiener Art (in Germany) or Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein (in Austria).
There is a story of Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky - the same to whom Johann Strauss Sr. dedicated his Radetzky March, Op. 228 in 1848 - writing a letter (which was never found, however) to one Count Attems, an adjutant of Franz Joseph, stating «