For as long as I can remember, Milanessa has been my favorite dish. I ask for this dish for Mother's Day, my birthday, or anytime my family asks what I want for dinner. My grandma on my mom's side would make it in huge quantities, and I can remember sitting at the table in her kitchen, just snagging pieces of steak seconds after they made it out of the frying pan. At home, I remember my mom pounding each filet with a mallet. Each thunderous boom was music to my ears, because I knew that each strike from the meat tenderizer was bringing me one step closer to this dish.
I'm struggling to even write about it without salivating. I think it's the total package that does it for me: a thin steak, breaded and fried; and then drizzled with lime juice. Put it in a flour tortilla with some avocado and you're golden. I usually serve it with beans and rice, but it stands on its own. My husband says that his family would make this and simply call it a steak cutlet, and have it on a roll with butter. I'm sure it's great. Actually, I'm not sure it's great, and I'll never be sure, because I'll always have it my way. Huh. I think Milanessa has turned into an analogy for our relationship. Weird. Anyway, back to Milanessa.
It can be a process, which is generally why we only make it once in awhile. With that in mind, here are some tips:
- We begin by tenderizing and thining each filet, but you can save yourself some trouble by asking the butcher to thin your steaks. They may not get them as thin as you'd like, but it's a great time-saving option.
- Keep your bottle of vegetable oil nearby. Depending on how much you're making, you'll likely have to add oil to your pan as you go.
- After frying, place steaks on layered paper towels on a dish. This will catch the excess oil drippings.
Milanessa Serves 8 16 oz vegetable oil 12 oz Italian bread crumbs 5 lbs Top round, Sandwich steak, Breakfast steak 6 eggs Salt and pepper eggs Limes (optional) Tortillas (optional) Avocado (optional) 1. Beat eggs in wide bowl. Salt and pepper eggs, and set aside. 2. Pour breadcrumbs onto shallow dish and set aside. 3. For thinner steaks, pound meat with tenderizer until steak is thin and tenderized. I stick to about a quarter inch or less. You just don't want to go so thin that you tear through the steak. 4. About halfway through tenderizing, pour oil to fill about a quarter inch to half an inch of a frying pan. Set to low-medium heat. 5. Finish tenderizing. Then dip steak into egg and move to breadcrumbs to coat both sides. Do this for all steaks. 6. Add steaks to warmed oil and cook on each side for approximately 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. 7. Remove from pan, serve with your favorite sides, and top with fresh lime juice.
This dish is my absolute favorite, and I hope it becomes one of yours.