Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Escalopes Milanese

This is actually my husband’s recipe - one of the first meals he made for me when we met back in 1989. It had become a family favourite, and this year we even had it for Valentine’s Day dinner. 

Up until very recently, we always used turkey for this recipe for both economic and ethical reasons, but now we can buy humanely raised veal in the UK, so we often use that.  Both taste great, and for that matter there is no reason why you could not use pork escalopes, or work out your frustrations by pounding chicken breasts very thin (or ask your butcher to do it for you if you do not feel the need to vent!).  I also developed a vegetarian version of this recipe not long ago - Eggplant and Zucchini Milanese - if you would prefer to enjoy something meat free instead.

I love using matzo meal for this, but if you can’t get it there is no reason not to use bread crumbs.  Both work, I just like the flavour and texture of matzo meal.  I’ve also mixed matzo meal with bread crumbs with a very satisfying result.  You can even grate a bit of lemon rind into the matzo meal/bread crumbs if you are feeling so inclined, although that is my addition - my husband is not really so sure about it! 

Admittedly this is not a low calorie recipe, but I like to think that using mild olive oil makes it healthier, and the hotter you get the oil the less is absorbed into the escalopes.  Do take care when shallow frying though - more than once I’ve nearly forgotten about the oil while heating it with close to flaming results! 

As for the spaghetti, my husband and son like it best with butter, garlic and seasonings.  The pesto and/or tomato sauce were my idea, and when we have this as a family I sometimes divide the spaghetti up and put tomato sauce on mine and buttery garlic on the other two portions - but sometimes I have the buttery garlic too - it really is scrumptious.

4 turkey or veal escalopes – about a quarter to a half inch thick
1 egg
Matzo meal (available in many supermarkets, but if you can’t get it, just use breadcrumbs)
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup of mild olive oil (not Extra Virgin)
enough spaghetti for four (as a side dish) usually 4 to 6 ounces will more than cover it
¼ cup melted butter, 1 teaspoon Very Lazy Garlic and 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning OR ½ pesto OR about 1½ cups of tomato sauce

Mix the Matzo meal with the salt and pepper and place on a plate.  Break the egg into a large bowl and beat lightly.  Heat the oil in a large shallow frying pan until it is very hot, taking care not to burn yourself.  When the oil is hot, dip the escalopes first in the egg, and then in the matzo meal mixture.  Place them straight into the hot oil.  Cook for about three minutes on each side, depending on the thickness of the escalopes, until no pink remains inside. 

Meanwhile cook the spaghetti in boiling water according to package directions.  Drain and toss with EITHER the melted butter mixed with the garlic and seasoning OR the pesto OR the tomato sauce. 

Serve each escalope with a side of dressed spaghetti and either a salad or some green vegetables. Buon Appetito!


  1. This looks very delicious. I am glad that you are still romantic and celebrating the meal that your husband first cooked for you. Blessings, Catherine

  2. Looks like a lovely meal. It's fun to have such sweet memories associated with a dish like this one.


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