Pork Milanese With Sautéed Spinach and Herb Acorn Squash Puree

26 03 2012

Pork, Chicken or Veal Milanese is an Italian breaded meat cutlet which is pan-fried in butter, oil or a combination of both. The panko and parm breading for tonight’s milanese was inspired by a recipe from Giada De Laurentiis, although I like to play around with the seasoning and make it my own.

I had a beautiful organic acorn squash just waiting to be turned into something great.  I thought a herb squash puree would be a perfect complement to this supper….and I was right!

Pork Milanese With Sautéed Spinach and Herb Acorn Squash Puree

The following serves 2:

  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 small boneless pork loin chops
  • Salt, black pepper and garlic powder
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • Fresh parsley and chives
  • Half a bag fresh baby spinach
  • 1 acorn squash, split in half and seeds scooped out
  • Water
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 Tbsp light brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place cut squash, flesh side down in a baking dish and top with water, about half way up the squash. Bake for one hour or until tender. In a medium saucepan, melt butter and add a handful of parsley, some chopped chives and a little lemon zest and cook over medium heat for a few minutes or so. When the squash is done, remove from oven and scoop out squash flesh into the saucepan with the melted herb butter. Puree squash with the butter, sugar, good pinch of salt and a few more fresh parsley sprigs. I used an emulsion blender to get a nice puree, but you could also mash with a potato masher. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

Coarsely crush the panko into a large shallow bowl. Mix the cheese into the panko. Lightly beat the egg in another large shallow bowl. Sprinkle the pork generously with salt, pepper and a little garlic powder. Next, zest some lemon right over the chops on one side. Dip the pork, 1 piece at a time, in the egg, allowing the excess to drip off, then dredge the pork in the crumb mixture, coating completely.

Heat about 3 Tbsp of oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork to the hot oil and cook until golden brown and cooked through, about 3-4 minutes per side.

In a small pan, heat a little bit of oil and add about a clove of minced garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Cook for about a minute to flavor the oil. Next, wilt in the spinach and season with salt. When the spinach starts to wilt, toss in some lemon juice and cook for another minute or so.

Transfer the pork to plates,  finish with lemon juice, then top with spinach and serve along with the squash puree.

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