Pound, bread, fry. Although the Milanese method of cooking is simple enough, the result is magical. In his new cookbook, Italian, My Way, chef Jonathan Waxman substitutes pork for the customary veal, creating a dish that's juicier, meatier--and more economical. But the real trick to this straightforward recipe is the hour-long bath the flattened chops take in a silky mixture of eggs, salt and olive oil. Waxman likens the soak to that of French toast, which produces a tender product that tastes better the longer it sits.
Pork Chop Alla Milanese
Recipe adapted from Jonathan Waxman, Italian My Way
Yield: 4 servings
Cook Time: 40 minutes plus 1 hour chill time
Four 10-ounce bone-in pork rib chops, Frenched
8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 loaf fresh country bread, crust removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 large eggs
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
2 lemons, juiced (about ¼ cup)
3 cups arugula
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1. Place each pork chop in a separate large resealable plastic bag and, using a rolling pin, gently pound each chop until it is about 8 inches in diameter and about 3/4-inch thick. Remove each chop from the bag and coat with a drizzle of olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. In a food processor, pulse the bread cubes into fine crumbs (you should end up with about 3 cups of crumbs). Pour the crumbs into a large paper bag.
3. Pour the flour into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. In another large bowl, beat the eggs with 1 teaspoon of sea salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Place the pork chops in the flour, dust them well and then dip each one into the egg mixture. Transfer the chops to a rimmed baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining egg mixture, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
4. Transfer the chops, one at a time, to the bag with the bread crumbs. Close the bag and shake well to coat each chop thoroughly.
5. Preheat a cast-iron skillet large enough to hold 2 chops in a single layer. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter and warm over medium heat until the butter is golden brown. Place two chops in the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on one side. Using a spatula, gently turn each chop. Add an additional tablespoon of oil to the pan. Cook for 3 minutes longer, until medium rare. Remove from the heat and transfer the chops to a platter. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) into the fat in the pan, stir to deglaze and pour the juices over the chops. Wipe out the pan and repeat this process with the remaining chops.
6. In a serving bowl, toss the arugula with the Parmesan and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Season to taste with salt. Place a small mound of arugula on top of each chop and serve.