Comfort food takes all shapes and ethnicities, but for me, a favorite is anything Italian, even if it doesn’t include pasta. Here, pound pork cutlets for a quickly baked version of Pork Milanese. Serve over arugula and accessorize with an easy to prepare roasted red pepper sauce.
Pork Milanese with Red Pepper Sauce Recipe
1 – 12 oz jar roasted red peppers, drained
1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1/3 cup dry white wine
juice of 1/2 lemon
boneless pork cutlets, about 1 pound
Note: pork cutlets are thinly sliced and require very little “mallet time” to create these crispy delicacies. A one pound package usually has about eight cutlets, easily serving four people
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
Note: find panko breadcrumbs in the baking aisle
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra Parmesan for grating on top
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
2 T grapeseed oil
4 cups fresh arugula, washed and dried
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Heat oven to 400°F
For Roasted Red Pepper Sauce:
Place roasted red peppers and parsley in blender.
Warm olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté until beginning to brown. Add wine and stir, reducing liquid by half. Add mixture to blender and purée until smooth.
Return sauce to skillet and heat on low. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
For Pork Milanese:
Mix panko breadcrumbs with Parmesan, 2 T grapeseed oil, oregano, salt, and pepper in small bowl. Spread in shallow baking dish.
Line large broiler pan with aluminum foil.
Place pork chops between layers of wax paper and pound gently with meat mallet, two at a time, until chops are about 1/4 inch thick. One at a time, press pork chops into breadcrumb mixture, coating both sides of chop. Place chop on lined broiler pan. Press any remaining breadcrumbs onto chops. Bake pork chops for 20 minutes, or until panko is golden brown and beginning to crisp. Remove from oven.
To serve: place one cup arugula leaves on each of four plates. Top with pork cutlets and drizzle with sauce. Garnish with tomato halves and grated parmesan.
Feeding the Famished’s favorite wine guru, Stephanie Davis, who owns Winacea, a wine education and entertainment company, was very excited about this recipe. “Anything with Milanese after it deserves a cheers,” she told me. One reason is that this dish can be prepared with red or white wine because the red pepper sauce compliments either option. Even so, she recommends this Ronchi di Pietro Pinot Grigio, which she recently tasted at a restaurant. The body and flavors of the wine, with a creamy nuttiness, bright acidity and freshness, but still retaining a heavier weight in the mouth, made even the red wine lover dining with her that night decree it a special wine. A great match with the fresh arugula, crispy pork, and savory red pepper sauce, the fact that it’s priced at $14/bottle is pretty special, too.
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Award-winning author Emily Kemme writes about human nature, because living brings its own humor, angst and heroism. Follow her on her blog, Feeding the Famished, https://www.facebook.com/EmilyKemme, or on Twitter @EmFeedsYou where she hopes you’ll find illumination of the everyday in a way that highlights its brilliance. Vodka and recipes optional.