Pork Milanese with Cucumber Yogurt
If you’re anything like us, there’s a gaping hole in your life (or stomach) now that dining out is on hold. And if you, like us, wish there was something you could do to help the countless restaurant workers affected, friend, there is! On the Line is an upcoming digital cookbook that features recipes from 30 of our favorite restaurant chefs from across the country (from spots like Crown Shy, Gramercy Tavern, Lilia and more), and all of the proceeds will benefit the LEE Initiative’s Restaurant Workers Relief Program, as well as the contributing chefs.
You can pre-order the e-book starting today, but as a sneak peek, we’re sharing this pork Milanese recipe from sous chef Tyler Kenny of the Brooklyn, New York restaurant Hart’s.
“Pork Milanese is a special dish at Hart’s,” Kenny writes, “that could very well be seen as a staple on the menu because how much we like to work with it. Whenever I make an herby dip, I like to use the herb stems since they hold so much flavor. This is one of those dips that is very versatile. For instance, I love the spice that builds from the garlic in the yogurt, so sometimes I go crazy and do five cloves of garlic instead of two or three!”
Go ahead, use five cloves. You’re staying in, right?
Excerpted with permission from On the Line, by Elena Besser, Jackson Cook and Graham Burns, May 2020.
1 Japanese cucumber
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups whole milk Greek yogurt
1 bunch fresh dill, finely chopped
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 or 3 garlic cloves
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 pieces boneless pork chop (center cut, about 2 pounds)
2 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
½ cup canola oil, for frying
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, optional
1. Peel and cut the cucumber in to ½-inch bite-size pieces, then place in a colander and sprinkle with the teaspoon of kosher salt. Set aside until the cucumber pieces have released some moisture, tossing occasionally, 13 to 15 minutes. Pat dry with a kitchen towel to remove any excess moisture.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, dill, chives, spring onions, lemon zest and lemon juice. Using a microplane, grate in the garlic. Fold in the cucumbers. Adjust the seasoning with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve.
3. Using a high-speed blender or food processor, blitz the Panko breadcrumbs until finely ground, about 5 minutes for a blender, and about 10 minutes for a food processor.
4. Working with one piece of pork at a time, place the pork between two pieces of plastic wrap and use the flat side of a meat tenderizer to pound from the center of the pork to the outside, pounding out each pork chop until it’s about ¼-inch thin.
5. Set up your dredging station. Gather three pie pans or shallow bowls and a parchment lined baking sheet. In the first pan, place the flour and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. In the second pan, add the eggs and scramble using a fork or whisk. In the final pan, add the panko.
6. Working in batches, coat both sides of the pork chop with flour, egg and panko, taking care to make sure the pork is fully covered with panko. Repeat for all four pieces. Once breaded, set the pork chops aside on the baking sheet.
7. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the canola oil over medium-high heat until hot, about 5 minutes. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping in a piece of Panko. If it starts to fry, it’s time to cook the pork.
8. Working in batches, carefully add the pork to the skillet and cook over a medium-low heat until golden brown and crispy, continuously moving the pork with tongs to ensure even frying, about 5 minutes per side. Set aside, on a rack or paper towel-lined baking sheet to drain the excess oil, and immediately season with kosher salt on both sides.
9. Once all the pork chops are fried, you can either slice the pork Milanese into strips for a family style meal or keep the chops whole and plate them individually. Give the cucumber yogurt a good stir before plating the pork with a generous serving of cucumber yogurt. If you’d like, make a well in the center of the yogurt and drizzle with additional olive oil. Top the pork and yogurt with additional chives, dill and freshly ground black pepper.
Substitutions: If you don’t have a Japanese cucumber, any cucumber will work. We recommend Persian cucumbers or seedless cucumbers. If you use a regular cucumber you will want to take the seeds out of the center before cutting and only let sit in salt for about 10 minutes. The herbs for this yogurt are very versatile. Parsley, tarragon, fresh oregano would all work really well in here. If you can’t find spring onions you can easily swap for scallions, shallots, or half a yellow onion, finely diced.
Optional Garnish: Whole herbs, salad greens or pea shoots are great additions to this dish.
Note: The cucumber yogurt will keep up to 4 days in the refrigerator. The fried pork will keep for 1 day in the refrigerator. This recipe yields a good amount of cucumber yogurt to spread on leftover pork sandwiches or use as dip for crudités.