Renee Touponce was born and raised within a couple of hours of Mystic, Conn., the town with a beach where she is now the kitchen of two well-known restaurants celebrating local seafood and fresh products. However, regarding the ingredient choices, the food served at the Italian-American and Puerto Rican tables was a different world, as the chef explains. Happily, this recipe–her first Slow Food Fast contribution–represents a delicious collision of her past and present. “Growing as a child, I was a fan of chicken Milanese. After a few years (as the executive chef at the Oyster Club], I thought, ‘Why don’t we do fish with swords in Milanese?'”
The dish that results — delicate, decadent, and simple as it is fast to prepare. If you’re looking for swordfish, pick the thick white steaks, suggests the chef. If you’re concerned that your knife isn’t enough to cut your fish in horizontal cutlets, request your fishmonger to take on the job. Then, all you need to do is smash thin cutlets, wrap them in a thin layer of flour, egg, and breadcrumbs, and then rapidly fry them in oil. For a side dish, an easy salad consisting of arugula, sweet onion, and cherry tomatoes is all Touponce advises you to have. Since everything is fresh, there’s nothing that is to it, she said.
Swordfish Milanese With Arugula, Tomatoes, and Red Onion
- 1 1/2 pounds swordfish steaks
- Salt Kosher
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 cup all-purpose flour plus additional flour as needed
- Four eggs, beaten
- 3 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs
- Two tablespoons of olive oil plus additional oil to fry when needed
- Four large handfuls of arugula
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 1/4 of a red onion thinly cut
- Two lemons
- The swordfish can be cut horizontally to make four ( 1/2-inch thick) cutlets. Place cutlets on plastic wrap. Using the meat tenderizer or large pan, crush them to 1/4-inch thickness. (Take note not to break fish.) Take the plastic off and season cutlets on the sides using salt, garlic powder, and onion powder.
- Make a shallow bowl of flour, another bowl with eggs, and the third with breadcrumbs. As you go, dip cutlets into flour, dip them into eggs, and press them into the flour until all sides are coated. Set aside.
- Place 1-2 inches of olive oil in an enormous saute pan set over medium-high temperature. When hot, fry the cutlets in groups until golden on one side, around 2 minutes. Then flip and cook another 2 minutes until golden on the other side. Transfer the cutlets to a paper towel-lined plate and sprinkle salt. In addition, add fresh oil into the pot in between batches, if necessary.
- In the meantime, mix arugula, onions, and tomatoes in an enormous bowl. Dress with juice from 1 lemon as well as two tablespoons of olive oil. Cut the remaining lemon into wedges. Divide the cutlets and salad on four plates. Serve lemon wedges with the meal.