My husband requested Veal Parmesan for his birthday celebration. I love veal, but it is hard to find. I have a wonderful little market nearby though that believes in good customer service, and have fantastic quality foods available (Baron’s Market). They were kind enough to special order it for me. It made my entire family happy!
Okay, on to the Veal Parmesan. I looked for a recipe online and the recipe by Emeril Lagasse had one of the highest ratings. I read the reviews and adjusted the seasonings to be less spicy as some reviewers said it was too spicy. Here is what I did, I left the seasoning in the sauce the same, but breaded it in the classic European way, salt and pepper on the Veal, pounded thin – dredged in flour, then egg and milk, and plain breadcrumbs, frying them in hot canola oil on both sides. I served this over cooked angel hair pasta, the sauce, the cutlets, a little more sauce and fresh mozzarella finished off in the oven to melt the mozzarella. It was not a cheap meal to make, but it was for a special occasion and the 22 dollars spent of the veal was spread over a family of 5- and 7 servings once you take into consideration that you would easily pay 20-25 dollars per serving in a nice restaurant for a single serving it was almost a bargain! For the budget conscious out there, you can make the same dish using chicken cutlets. If you are sensitive to spice, feel free to reduce the red pepper flakes by half. It does have a nice kick to it still.
adapted from Emeril Lagasse
- 8 thin veal cutlets, about 2 1/2 ounces each
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup plain dry bread crumbs (add more as needed)
- Vegetable oil
- 1/4 lb pancetta bacon, chopped
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp minced garlic, about 3-4 cloves
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 (28-oz) can Italian-style tomatoes
- 1 cup tomato puree
- 1 Tbsp fresh chopped basil
- 1 tsp fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tsp fresh oregano
- 1 tsp dried red pepper flakes
- Grated Parmesan cheese
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
For the sauce (can also make ahead of time):
In a large sauce pan cook the pancetta bacon in 1 Tbsp of oil. When it is cooked to a golden brown, remove the bacon from the pan. Add the chopped onions to the pan and cook until it is translucent for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds to a minute. Add the wine and deglaze the pan stirring bits from the bottom with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato puree, basil, parsley, oregano, and dried pepper flakes to the saucepan. Bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add the cooked pancetta back to the sauce. Keep the sauce over low heat while you are making the veal cutlets.
For the cutlets:
Pound the cutlets out with a meat mallet between two layers of plastic until they are 1/8″ thick. Season the cutlets on both sides with salt and pepper.
Prepare three bowls: 1 with all purpose flour (seasoned with 1 tsp salt if desired), 1 with egg and milk whisked together with a fork, and the last bowl with dried breadcrumbs.
Dredge the seasoned cutlets first in the flour, then in the egg mixture and lastly in the breadcrumbs, coating both sides in each before moving to the next.
Heat a large non stick skillet that has about 1/4 inch of oil in it over medium high heat. I like to drop a breadcrumb in the oil to test if it is ready to fry the veal- if it sizzles it is ready. Then fry 3-4 cutlets at a time in the skillet, turning after 2 or 3 minutes (when the breading is golden brown on the bottom) and fry other side until golden brown. Remove the cutlets to a wire rack over a baking dish and place in a warm oven to keep warm while you cook remaining cutlets.
Cook your choice of pasta, according to package directions. I used angel hair, but Emeril used herbed egg noodles.
Top each cutlet with a spoon full of sauce and place a slice of fresh mozzarella on each cutlet. Place the veal cutlets that are now topped with mozzarella under a broiler to allow the cheese to melt, watching carefully. To serve: arrange the pasta on the dinner plate. Ladle some sauce on the pasta. Top the pasta with the veal cutlet. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired and a little fresh basil, cut in ribbons.