The summer is busy and when I get busy I crave comfort food. Luckily – I think – my family has tons of comfort food to turn to and fettini (breaded veal cutlets) are one of them. In our house, say that you are making fettini, and it gets an immediate smile. This time around I was also inspired to cook these by Aurora Importing’s Nonna’s Tips. If you haven’t seen them yet, you have to check them out. Tip #1 was all about bread crumbs and this fettini recipe features them well!
This recipe is standard for my family but was also a big hit in the restaurant they used to run, years ago. Served with sauce and cheese, or gravy and mushrooms, or eaten while crispy and hot right out of the frying pan, you can’t go wrong.
Fettini/Breaded Veal Cutlets
6 to 8 veal cutlets
1 cup flour
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
Purchase veal cutlets from the butcher, at about 1/4 inch thick each. One at a time, pound out each cutlet using both the toothed side and smooth side of a mallet. This should tenderize the meat and make a larger, and thinner cutlet. Salt lightly, to your taste, and set aside.
Set out three pie pans or bowls on your work surface. In the first bowl, pour in the flour. In the second bowl scramble two eggs and stir in with two tablespoons of cool water to create an egg wash. In the third bowl combine breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic powder and dried oregano.
Dredge each cutlet first in flour. Then dip the cutlet into the egg wash, allowing the extra to drip off, before placing it in the bread crumb mixture to coat it. If you want to do this recipe without flour, you can also dredge the cutlet first into the breadcrumbs, then into the egg mixture and then back into the breadcrumbs. If you choose do it without flour, you’ll need to pat the veal cutlets with a paper towel before dredging them to get rid of the extra moisture.
Place the coated cutlets on a tray. For cutlets that are very large, use a pair of kitchen shears to cut 3/4 inch snips into the edges so that it won’t curl up when you fry it.
Once all the cutlets are coated, prepare a frying pan with a 1/4 inch of vegetable oil. You can also fry in olive oil, but I find the fettini come out crisper when I use vegetable oil. Also prepare two sheets of paper towel on a plate for draining. Once the oil is heated, fry each cutlet until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes on each side. Fit as many cutlets into the frying pan as you can at one time, in order to keep the temperature of the oil down.
Once a cutlet is cooked, remove from the oil and place on the paper towel to absorb any excess oil. Keep the finished fettini warm, keeping them by the stove or in a warming drawer, until you are ready to serve.
What you do with them next is up to you – I like them straight up, no sauce. But you can add tomato sauce and mozzerella on top and broil the cutlets to create veal parmesan. Or make sautée onion and mushrooms to put on top. Mushrooms and beef gravy is another great topping that my parents used to offer at their restaurant as well.
There is a second part to this recipe – what to do with the leftover breadcrumbs and eggs if you have any. This I learned from my husband’s family, but it’s for another post. Until then – enjoy!