This was Thursday night’s dinner, and it was really quite good. (We also had a fruit salad, in case you’re worried that we eat nothing but fried meat and starch. That is actually my husband’s fondest dream, but I am one woman army of Five a Day-ism).
Both recipes come from the August issue of “Food & Wine.” The Crispy Pork is a version of a dish traditionally made with veal, called Cutolleta alla Milanese that was the default meal for my brother and me when we traveled in Italy as children. No Osso Bucco or mystery sausage for us, thanks. I was gratified to see that my son loved it just as much as his uncle and I did 30 years ago.
Note for Beginners: Neither of these dishes is particularly difficult, but you will need to plan ahead if you want to make them at the same time. Have all of your risotto ingredients measured and ready, from broth to butter, and have your cutlets breaded before you begin the risotto. You can begin to heat the oil for the cutlets around the time you add the corn to the risotto, and if your ingredients are ready, you should be able to manage the quick-frying of the cutlets as you finish the risotto. You can finish the risotto a tiny bit ahead, but its really best served immediately.
Crispy Pork Milanese
- 6 pork cutlets (1 1/2 pounds), pounded 1/4 inch thick
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (2 ounces)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Olive oil, for frying
- Lemon wedges, for serving
1. Season the cutlets with salt and pepper. In a shallow bowl, mix the panko with the cheese, oregano and nutmeg. Put the flour and eggs in 2 shallow bowls. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. (Note: I put a cookie cooling rack over the baking sheet and put my completely breaded cutlets on the rack as I completed them to help keep the coating intact. They dripped onto the towel, and I could just pitch it when I was done, and replace it with new toweling to absorb oil after frying). Dredge the cutlets in the flour, tapping off the excess, then dip them in the eggs, allowing any excess to drip back in the bowl. Finally, coat the the cutlets with the panko mixture, pressing to help the crumbs adhere.
2. In each of 2 large skillets, heat 1/4 inch of olive oil until shimmering. Add the cutlets to the skillets and fry over high heat, turning once, until crisp, golden brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes total. Drain the pork on paper towels, and serve at once with lemon wedges.
Fresh Corn Risotto
- 6 servings chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups arborio rice (12 ounces)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup white corn kernels (from 2 ears)
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil with the bay leaf. Keep the stock warm over very low heat.
2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stitting until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring until opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the white wine and cook, stirring until completely absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until it is absorbed between additions. After about half of the stock has been added, stir in the corn, then add the remaining stock. The rice is done when its al dente and creamy, about 25 minutes total. Stir in the cheese and butter, season with salt and pepper, discard the bay leaf, and serve.