Oh Spring, how I adore you. Warmer temperatures dissolve the greyness of winter and green life begins to slowly seep back into our surroundings. Life feels refreshed. Warmer temperatures drive us away from the comfort of winter’s heavier dishes in favor of lighter meals, filled with fresh flavors and vegetables.
With regards to meat, most people think of chicken when trying to make a dish lighter. While I can definitely understand that perspective, I love the flavor of pork accompanied by vibrant spring flavors. Pork Milanese is a love of mine. It is so easy, and makes me feel like I am eating chicken fingers without all the calories associated with frying. Pork Milanese is an historically Italian dish that initially migrated to the southern tip of South America by Italian Immigrants during the mass immigration called the Italian Diaspora between 1860 – 1920. While this dish is traditionally fried in shallow olive oil in a hot skillet, I opted to bake it.
Baked Pork Loin Milanese
4 Boneless Pork Chops
1 ½ Cups Panko Bread Crumbs
1/3 Cup Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, Finely Minced
1 Large Egg
Place the pork chops, olive oil, and garlic into a gallon sized Ziploc bag. Seal and massage with hands to ensure each pork chop is covered in garlic and oil. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. In one medium bowl, whisk the egg. In another medium bowl, add the breadcrumbs. Remove the pork from the fridge, take a piece out of the bag, and dip both sides in the egg. Place the pork in the bread crumbs, lightly pressing down on the pork to aid adhesion of the bread crumbs, then turn it over and coat the other side. Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Repeat with remaining pork chops.
Place the pork in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes – or until cooked through. Serve with spring vegetables such as asparagus or a nice arugula salad.