To me late Spring is synonymous with warm days and balmy evenings. Time to throw open the doors to enjoy long, leisurely, al fresco evening meals outside. This calls for simple, unfussy platters of rustic food. Big on flavour but oh so easy to prepare. Like Cotoletta. The original Wiener Schnitzel. A centuries old, long standing menu item of many a traditional Italian trattoria since way back when.
Take a largeish veal or pork cutlet on the bone, not too fatty, yet not too lean. One for each diner; after all we want to emulate the generosity of the Italian family table. Dust in flour. Dip in egg. Coat in a parmesan, parsley and lemon crust. Pan-fry to golden perfection in a generous swathe of olive oil and butter.
Gloriously crisp and crunchy on the outside, deliciously tender and juicy on the inside, a platter of these are a definite crowd pleaser. Serve with lots of lemon, a salad or vinaigrette based coleslaw to cut through all the richness. Kick back and relax with a large glass of crisp white wine as you graciously accept all compliments.
Parmesan, Parsley and Lemon Crumbed Pork Cotoletta
4 pork cutlets, about 250g each, trimmed and bones cleaned
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
zest of 1 small lemon, finely grated
1/4 cup plain flour
sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
80 ml vegetable oil, for frying
50g butter, for frying
lemon wedges,to serve
USING a meat mallet, gently pound each cutlet to approximately 1cm thickness.
COMBINE breadcrumbs, lemon zest, parsley and parmesan cheese in a shallow bowl.
WHISK eggs in a separate bowl with a splash of water and a pinch of sea salt.
COMBINE flour with a little sea salt and pepper in a third bow.
COAT each cutlet in flour, shaking off excess. Dip in egg. Coat in breadcrumb mixture. Place on a plate. Repeat with remaining cutlets.
COVER with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
PREHEAT oven to 150 C.
WORKING in two batches, heat half the olive oil in a large heavy based frying pan over medium heat, add half the butter and when the mixture is foaming add two cutlets to the pan.
FRY for 5-6 minutes each side until crisp and golden. Drain well on paper towels before transferring to a paper lined oven tray to keep warm.
WIPE the frying pan clean with paper towels and repeat the process with the remaining oil, butter and remaining crumbed cutlets.
SEASON with a liberal sprinkling of sea salt and serve immediately with lemon wedges.