food for thought

by michelle

pork cotoletta + 3 veg

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Cotoletta is the Italian version of the ubiquitous Schnitzel. Unlike schnitzel, though, it is not usually breaded with egg but dipped in oil and then breadcrumbs and often grilled, not fried. It’s also often cooked with the bone in. Traditionally veal, I chose pork for this meal and made Italian vegetable accompaniments. The 3 veg I served with my meal were carrots tossed in parmesan; zucchini with onions and peas; and potatoes baked with fennel and porcini mushrooms.


For the Cotoletta, make sure you have free-range, good quality pork cutlets. Coat them with breadcrumbs (by whichever method you prefer) which are seasoned and flavoured with oregano. Cook over medium heat until the meat is just cooked and the crumbs are golden.


This carrot recipe is adapted from Leaves from our Tuscan Kitchen by Janet Ross & Michael Waterfield. Slice the carrots into thick rounds and cook in a little water until just tender. Set aside, retaining the cooking liquid. In a saucepan melt 30g (1 oz) of butter and add 30g (1 oz) of flour. Cook this roux then add the remaining carrot stock and reduce until the sauce is the thickness of double cream. Add 30g (1 oz) each of cheddar and parmesan and return the carrots, mixing well until the cheese is melted and the carrots well coated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.



Thickly slice some zucchinis and onions. Place them in a saucepan or frypan with a lid along with some olive oil, oregano, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Close the lid and cook over moderate to high heat, tossing occasionally, until the zucchini is browning a little but still firm. Add some peas and continue to cook until both the zucchini and peas are just cooked. Drizzle with a little lemon juice before serving.



This potato, fennel and porcini recipe appears in River Cafe Cook Book Two by Rose Gray and Ruth Rogers.

Preheat your oven to 200ºC (400ºF). Soak 60g (3 oz) of dried porcini mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Drain and retain the soaking liquid. In a little olive oil fry the porcini with a little minced garlic and when browning, add 3 tablespoons of the soaking liquid. Continue to cook until the liquid is absorbed and the porcini are soft. In a very large saucepan heat some more olive oil and add some slivers of garlic and 1cm (¼”) slices of fennel, cut lengthways. Cook until soft. Now add 1cm (¼”) potato slices and the porcini mushrooms, seasoning well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix well then transfer to a baking tray and bake until the potatoes are cooked.


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