The miracle of life.

I’m sure you’ve seen the video (Yes people. We are talking VHS here. Old school, I know. But think back, back, way back.) Made in the eighties. Shown to every high school kid in an attempt to scare them into not getting pregnant before the age of 18. Or ever. As the case may be. (And the US government wonders why our birth rates are so much lower than those in third world countries. They don’t have VHS players. Coincidence? I think not.)

I’ve never seen it. Actually. Which is probably why I remained so optimistic about this whole giving birth. Thing. “Yup mom, no problemo. I will just pop out those kids during the PhD part of this whole process (husband or NOT – she didn’t like that very much) and fed-ex them to you. No, you don’t need to come pick them up. I know it’s only a ten minute drive, but you’ll have to pay tolls, deal with traffic, it’ll be an ordeal. We’ll just overnight ’em.”

That was the plan. Was. Being the operative word here.

Until I was required to watch a real. Live. Birth.

Which here at New York Presbyterian is actually more likely than not to be a real. Live. C section. (Who can be bothered with natural birth anymore? It’s so…inconvenient. You just never know when it’s going to happen. You might have to wait the full 42 weeks. Or worse. More.)

I was fine with the C section itself, actually. I’ve seen enough fascia and visceral pleura in my life (or in the past six weeks) to just kind of shrug my shoulders at the whole thing.

What really got me. Was the epidural. I don’t know if you’ve ever had an epidural. But it’s not just a simple needle in/needle out/instant pain relief kind of thing.

It’s. A. Process.

Especially when it’s being done by a resident who has no idea what he’s doing and has to repeatedly stick the damn thing in this poor woman’s back to try to locate her intervertebral disc. I guess the fifty first time is a charm. Who knew.

All I know is that I almost strangled him. (I was on the verge of passing out. And desperate times call for desperate measures. I’m pretty sure I could have done a better job anyway. I’m good with my hands.) So imagine how the patient and her husband must have felt.

The end result being. That I’m less than enthused about the prospect of ever being pregnant. Because there is no way that I am ever letting anyone come near my cerebrospinal fluid with that needle. At least not at a teaching hospital. Or unless I have the anesthesiologist sign a contract saying that if he doesn’t get it right on the first try. I’m allowed to cut off his outer limbs. Seems like a fair deal.

That being said. Dear mom. Thank you for enduring 20+ hours of labor to have me. In return. Here is a recipe that I think dad and Daniel might actually eat. And that, honestly, I actually thought was some kind of wonderful as well.

Pork Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad
This recipe Pork Chops Milanese with Arugula Salad makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal that the whole family will love!
Yield: 4 servings
  • 4 bone-in pork chops
  • 2 cups flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups panko bread crumbs
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 12 fresh basil leaves
  • capers to garnish
  1. Put the chops on a cutting board and cover them with a large piece of plastic wrap. Pound them with a meat mallet until the meat is ¼ inch thick.
  2. Set up a breading station. In three separate bowls put the flour, eggs, and bread crumbs. Lightly whisk the eggs. Stir the Parmesan into the bread crumbs.
  3. Season the chops liberally with salt and pepper. Dredge them in flour and shake off the excess, then dip them in egg, and then in bread crumbs to coat.
  4. Heat a large saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil and butter. When the fat is hot add the chops and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes a side. Drain until ready to serve.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the garlic, lemon juice, and 1 tsp salt. Whisk in the EVOO. Add the onion, toss to coat evenly, and let marinate for ten minutes.
  6. Add the arugula, tomatoes and basil to the dressing and gently toss together.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ¼ of recipe

NOTES – The original recipe called for veal chops. However. I am poor. And definitely don’t have the money to pay $22.00 a pound for anything. Unless it is lined with gold. Or really good chocolate. I also added capers. Because everything tastes better with capers.

This is my submission to this week’s Symon Sundays! Check out Ashlee’s blog on Monday to see how everyone else’s dish turned out!

Also. Lest I forget. Regional Recipes. Due by February 28th at midnight. Middle Eastern food. See here for details.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
Share →

84 Responses to Pork Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad

  1. Debbi Smith says:

    Ha ha! Trust me, when you are in the situation, you will be begging for the epidural dude to come relieve you. After my first, I would attack any pregnant woman and insist they have an epidural. I wanted to get a t-shirt with I Love Epidurals on it. The worst part is when they tell you to stay completely still through a mind blowing contraction! Ya right!

    I hardly ever have pork chops with the bone, actually, I’ve never bought them in my whole life, only had them when I lived at home and it was not a good result. Ever. These look delicious!

  2. Kim says:

    This pork milanese looks out of this world! I love how the bone is attached. I’ve never seen a cut like that before. Delicious:D

    I have to agree with Debbi above. The worst part of the epidural is bending over to expose the spine while having contractions. Something about bending over makes contractions unbearable.

  3. omiGod,i’m right over seven oceans but yet wanna strangle the resident here :-)))))
    But then medical schools are like this arent they?
    sad but how will the resident learn then ?
    sometimes patients dont fancy their bp taken way too many times too and well maybe all that can help is a sunshine smile….
    Well sure wouldn let a resident ,sr or jr. for that matter :-))) ,to come even 200 mtrs with a needle ,leave alone epidural near my cerebrospinal fluid or I.V. disc…no way…
    Ok now if its the H.O.D,and SR> lecturer we are in safe hands arent we?

    thats where the birthing centre comes and i feel i should open one myself someday and do all the sweet pregnant young ladies ,including myself(when i am someday) a fav…..a good natured Gynac (female dear) on duty and light excercise classes and bath tubs and warm water with soothing candles and rose petals and a soft bed with dimmed lights for u to celebrate with hubby dear after birth…sure will need some hot choclate then …so a little kettle and pantyr there:-)))))
    And yeah my mom had a labour too and i love to hold her on the waist tight and feel the warmth of my first home and cheers to that love the though of ur fantastically wonderful recipe here…..

  4. Amy says:

    I was completely on board for an Epidural with my 1st. Sorry ladies, there’s nothing appealing about natural labor and it does not make you a better mother. I do, however, vividly remember the doctor mentioning to me (after the 3rd poke) that my spine was curved…um, thanks for mentioning this when I’m already nervous and in pain, and at your mercy!! No bed side manor.

    My second baby was breech, so I had to have a C Section, and thus a spinal. THAT was scary. You’re completely paralyzed and you don’t get the feeling back in your legs and toes for several hours.

    Luckily, I had easy labors and deliveries. The end result for both kids was fine and they will drive me nuts for years to come ๐Ÿ˜‰

  5. Amy says:

    p.s the crusted pork looks yummy. The picture is a beauty with the green salad.

  6. Marisa says:

    Sheesh, that sounds like an ordeal and a half! I really want a kid, but scared shitless for the labour process.

    Your pork chops look mighty fine though – loving the 3rd pic!

  7. vickys says:

    I think I’ll never truly apprecite my mom until I have to go through it as well! She said I made her sick every morning and she felt like dying! Oh dear.

    Anyways, LOVELY LOOKING chops! I’m sure your mom’s proud of you!!

  8. Azita says:

    natural is the best way but i’ve had one emergency c section and one planned. the first one was great but the second one was a nightmare. my doctor was teaching an inexperienced and nervous intern to give the epidural with that long and thin needle.

    pork chops looks very delicious!

  9. Debbie says:

    I have pork chops in my freezer and now I know what I am going to do with them! Oh yours look so good! I have had 3 epidurals, one for each pregnancy and had no problems with them. I barely even felt the needle. Although I’m sure had a resident stuck me a number of times, I wouldn’t be saying this. I don’t think I would let a resident near me (for that type of procedure anyway). Too scary. It also helps I’m sure that I never look at what will be sticking me. No clue what the needle looks like and I plan and on keeping it that way.

  10. Your pork chops look fabulous and I love that you serve them with a healthy light salad!

  11. Luciana says:

    Oh my God, this steak is very good…with the crust…Congratulation…You are very good as always…a kiss Luciana

  12. Ann says:

    I need to get my a$$ over and get me some chops. another meat cut that I have never tried cooking! Looks delish!
    I never had any issue with the epidurals (x2), but I’m cringing at your account of the resident. They let residents do them?????? I’m surprised the woman didn’t rip his head off at trial #51. I had more problems with the doctors yanking off all the tape and gunk that they plaster on you – fancy getting a BACK WAX while you are in labor?

  13. Bridgett says:

    I had to laugh about the intern sticking the poor woman as I had my fair share of those while in the hospital with hyperemesis with my pregnancies. I always got the one who would insert the IV into the muscle of my hand or just couldn’t find the vein. Talk about wanting to pass out! Needless to say, I refused an epidural just because it involved yet another needle and my spinal area!
    There is nothing like pork milanese. I always serve it with a simple yet gorgeous salad such as yours, so your photo and recipe has my mouth watering! Lovely!

  14. Bob says:

    Ugh, I hate it when they screw up needle stuff. I used to work in a hospital doing transport and I would often have to wait while a resident tried to do something repeatedly. I suppose I didn’t have to actually watch, but I’m a curious guy and I like learning things. Heh.

    Those pork chops look devastating, too.

  15. theUngourmet says:

    I have had two and both times I loved the doctor that did it. They both had terrific bedside manner and they got it right the first time so it was easy. The part I didn’t like was the electrical shock feeling I got as it was wearing off. That was a creepy feeling.

    Great recipe! The crust looks scrumptious!

  16. Pam says:

    I adopted my children…easy peasy..or at least, easy on the body. Pork chops look amazing.

  17. This is one of my girls’ favorites…of course with out the green stuff…I love the green stuff. Your pictures are gorgeous!

    I had two C-sections, epidurals, the works…the first wasn’t too bad it was un planned section the second one didn’t start off so well…I simply told the guy with the needle, after he missed 3 times to get the hell out and send someone in who knew what the hell they were doing. Sometimes they have to realize that the woman with the big belly is really in charge ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. looks scrumptious! Great clicks Joanne!

  19. looks amazing I had a bad delivery and emergency c section so wish it was natural hate the medicalized care, better with a midwife LOL

  20. monicajane says:

    your meal looks fantastic as usual…

    I’d like to recommend an alternative view of birthing to you…this is a great movie, well worth watching…

    The Business of Being Born…

    I sobbed through most of it…

    it’s available on netflix if you do netflix…


  21. VHS was not even considered when I was in school…

    too funny… Hey, I have been a little behind lately in reading blogs… what did you think of Arnaud’s cookbook???

    Anything i missed? Anything coming up?

    that was one of the three cookbooks i brought with me to the island

  22. YUMMY! The best way to serve a gorgeous hunk of meat is to balance it with a great salad – good job! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. Joanne, I’ll have to say…..after 3 kids: 2 born in Nigeria (where epidurals are not first choice) and 1 in the Netherlands, where no form of pain relief is offered….and having heard stories from the US about epidurals and almost instant pain relief…I would say, don’t worry. Where ever you are, you’ll be fine.

    Now while I wouldn’t have #4, my life has been unforgettably changed!

    Super glad to see a daughter give her mum thanks…with food!

  24. Andreas says:

    Nice twist to use panko for this classic dish.
    Not sure if I’ve seen that film, at first I thought you were referring to Power of Ten.

  25. I had epidurals for the first two, and not for the third. Made almost no difference. I think the second epidural wrecked something in my back. I can’t imagine having a student poking around in there, amazing she isn’t paralyzed for life.
    For number three I had the 50/50 nitrous. Much more fun. You get to controll it yourself. I did Frank Booth impersonations from Blue Velvet. Might have alarmed the nurses a bit..

    Great chops! You did a wonderful job on this challenge – so delicious!

  26. Mimi says:

    You do realize what an interesting backdrop your story makes to the raw meat picture don’t you??

    So happy I won’t have to endure any of that pain.

    Great looking recipe, I’m hungry.

  27. R. says:

    Hahahahhhahaha, I can totally relate to that about having kids. Now I’m trying to convince my mom that 3 cats is totally equal to one human child.

    Holy heck that’s a large needle. Noooo thank you. OUCH!

    You sound like one busy lady. I give you oodles of credit for pursuing the career path you’re on!

    AMAZING looking pork – how can you go wrong with something that good!?

  28. Mmmm, looks absolutely wonderful as always!

    As far as the whole giving birth thing – I can’t believe how doctors rush things these days! C sections are so common now and so much harder to recover from, and lets not even go any further about the needle in the spine, the thought of that always really scared me. Natural is the way to go ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Erica says:

    That pork looks so crispy and delicious!!!!I had a C section with my boy!

  30. Karine says:

    Oh crap the epidural thing really does not make me want to have kids. One of my co-workers has 2 kids. The first one took 10 hours of labor. The second one took half an hour. She told me she preferred to give birth to the first one than the second…

    I do love your pork chop recipe. The bone adds so much flavor to the meat ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. okay i need to take photo lessons from you! everything you make looks great! and i'[m sure TASTES GREAT!

    microscopic sweet taters- tasty. my mom says they are “sweeter”. then again, she was also the one who says don’t eat too much pineapple since it will BURN YOUR STOMACH (it’s a fire fruit….yeah)
    i am floudering without a routine. it’s crippling.

    dude, i gained some weight (lumpy in areas) due to NOT COUNTING NUTS. so i totally understand.

  32. Faith says:

    Your pics are so vibrant, Joanne! That is a gorgeously golden crust on that chop! I agree, I’m a little scared of the whole giving birth thing myself! (I can totally see how that video would be the best method of birth control, lol! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  33. Laurie says:

    I want that pork chop on arugula.. I don’t want an epidural, nor anymore kids or watching a c section video.. just give me the meat and salad! Yum!! Great story though.. ๐Ÿ™‚

  34. Those VHS’s scared me. I think I’ll have a natural birth. LOL! This pork chop looks great!

  35. Thank God I didn’t read this 5 years ago!! I would have never gotten the epidural at the teaching hospital I delivered at!! LOL Actually, I had a great experience and it only took one try.

  36. Kerstin says:

    Mmmm, what tasty pork chops! My mom said giving birth is just like having bad cramps – I don’t believe her! I’m secretly hoping I inherited her pain tolerance though ๐Ÿ™‚

  37. Shirley says:

    That bit about the epidural is scary Joanne! I have a giveaway at my blog, do check it out.

  38. Pam says:

    I had TWO emergency c-sections with very painful spinal blocks for both. It’s terribly painful and healing from the c-secion is brutal too but you forget all of that when you hold your baby in your arms. It’s worth it!!!

    The pork looks FANTASTIC – perfectly golden brown.

  39. Kathleen says:

    I am the biggest wimp in the world and I honestly don’t remember what it was like when they gave me the epidural. Go figure. It has been 20 years! I still remember them breaking my water with my first and the 10 hours of labor though! This pork recipe sounds amazing! Yum-Yum!!!

  40. Ha! It is a case here where ignorance is bliss. I did not know a thing about being pregnant and so I never imagine the pain I was to endure (I did it the “natural” way)
    The second time I asked for all the drugs on the maternity floor plus some at the hospital across the street
    Love those pork chops and the arugula, although I miss the potatoes to round out the ensemble!

  41. Ok babes did ya enjoy the not very interactive treasure hunt :-)))))))))))))))))))))))))lol:-)))

    Heres the finale……HAPPY BIRTHDAY TWEETE DEAR>>>>>>

    And for my suprise jus for u and ur birthday….hop right here ….soon…..hope u like it ….

  42. Debinhawaii says:

    Things like epidurals and paying for college is why I have a grumpy cat and beloved nieces and nephews. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Mmm…your dinner looks delicious. Pork is a great substitute and of course you know my love for capers!

    Happy Birthday too!!!!

  43. Happy birthday Joanna.
    Ta recette semble dรฉlicieuse, j’aime beaucoup.
    J’ai eu la pรฉridurale et tout s’est trรจs bien passรฉ.
    See soon.

  44. Luigi says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  45. Luciana says:

    Happy birthday to you, my dear friend…Have a good day…a kiss by Luciana

  46. Barbara says:

    Happy Birthday Joanne! Trust me when I say the minute your mother saw you, anything she went through was worth it!

    I had two of my three with an epidural. Thank God there was not a resident in sight! Anyway, I was in such pain, I barely even noticed it. What I did notice, oddly enough, were all the needles they tried to stick in my arm (they couldn’t find a vein) for glucose.

    Oh, and by the way: Super pork chop recipe!

  47. Nicole, RD says:

    Haha, Happy Birthday! The things our mothers do… ๐Ÿ™‚ She endured black and white TV and drove a Nova the size of Noah’s Ark…I admire the woman!

    ‘Chops look wonderful! Have a great day, hun!

  48. Hi joanne,many many happy returns of the day,hope u have a great year ahead filled with lots of happiness and may all your dreams come true…have a wonderful day

  49. Katie says:

    I distinctly remember The Miracle of Life, and while it’s not the only reason that I’ve never been pregnant, I don’t doubt that it played a small part. I think that was when I started questioning my desire to be a doctor (a “real” one), too :). I’m sure it’ll get easier to watch and the thought of giving birth yourself will become at least slightly more tolerable, and I’m glad that there are people out there who are willing to see it every day!

  50. Pam says:

    Happy Birthday early J! Hope you have fun!

    What a party over at vanillastrawberryspringfields!…he he!


  51. Amy says:


  52. SnoWhite says:

    did I see a little birthday mention in there?! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Happy Birthday!

  53. Happy birthday, Joanne! Thanks for being a great blogger and wonderfully supportive friend. I hope you have a best day yet!

  54. Julie says:

    your madre is a saint. well so is mine. but she had a c section so i think yours is cooler.

    i would take the drugs. no matter what..

    ..i even want to take the drugs just thinking about pregnancy

  55. I love a nice crusty pork chop! These look so yummy on that bed of arugula! Happy Birthday! XO

  56. teresa says:

    lol! oh man, i’m just so happy i didn’t actually know what was going on back there! it’s all intense enough!

    these look amazing! i love the little capers, delicious!

  57. Oh I so remember that movie. Never put two and two together on why I’m not having children. But I think you’re probably right. or at least that’s what I can tell people now when they ask…yes, they still rudely ask ๐Ÿ™‚

    great recipe!

  58. ARUNA says:

    That’s a very colorful n gorgeous dish!!!

  59. Sippity Sup says:

    This is beautiful! I really came here though to turn in my Turkish Dish (before I got sidetracked by this beauty) so I keep looking. GREG

  60. Happy Birthday Dear Jo. Wishing you lots of good health and wishes to save many lives(super woman), cook many recipes (for yummy tummies) and smiles.

  61. Kerstin says:

    I had to come back and say Happy Birthday!!! Hope you have an awesome celebration with lots of yummy drinks and treats ๐Ÿ™‚

  62. Karen says:

    Love the breading on these chops and they just look beautiful sitting on the arugula!

  63. Laurie says:

    Your friends love you Joanne.. they even threw an online surprise party for awesome is that!!
    Happy Birthday!!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  64. The recipe almost makes me wihs I could eat pork again!

    I was pretty reluctant to ever have kids myself, and a skiing accident in my youth resulted in the c-section being strongly advised if not required. The epidural was not fun, I’ll admit, but I had a great anesthesiologist (who’d had two before, for the same reasons) and it was over with quickly. Don’t let the epidural turn you off. (Let the late nights filled with a screaming little tyrant who can’t tell you how to please her turn you off.)

  65. Joanne says:

    I’ll take the Arugula salad over the epidural please.

  66. Mary says:

    When your time comes think midwife! I’m sure your mom appreciates your gratitude :-). The meal you planned for your dad looks wonderful.

  67. msmeanie says:

    Happy birthday! The P-word scares me too (enough so that I have never had the guts to watch the Miracle video)

  68. wow that’s one good looking pork chop! tbh, I’m really scared of getting pregnant now after seeing all the “scary” vids.

    Hope it’s the best year ever! ๐Ÿ™‚

  70. chrystad72 says:

    omg, i hear ya girl. Im so super scared to ever have a kid. The whole process seems so frightening! And the epidural…aaaahhh! Sticking anything into my back seems like the most unpleasant experience ever. I totally understand that people have to learn but if I ever have to get that done I want to most skilled person they have! ha! But at least these awesome food photos totally cheered me up!!=) GOrgeous and amazing as usualy my dear. I so hope you are making a big huge cookbook. Id so buy it=) Have a fabulous day sweetie!

  71. Gulmohar says:

    I have experienced both natural labor and epidural..I would recommend epidural, not because I don’t love my baby, but I didn’t find any harm with it and I am happy that I got one this last time ๐Ÿ˜€
    The pic is a treat and looks too good..
    Wish you a very happy B’day !

  72. I thought of bringing in the noise over here.. I don’t think Mia won’t mind … right MIA???
    we had fun at

    so one, two, three…
    at the count of three sing along with me!
    Happy Birthday Joanne ??*โ€ข????.(Yattatta!!!)
    Happy Birthday JOanne ????. (Yattatta!!!)
    Happy Birthday dear Joanne ?ยธยธ.โ€ข*ยจ*โ€ข??*โ€ข????..
    Happy Birthday to you! (YATTATTA!!!)

    ?ยธ?ยธ?ยธ Sending my warm wishes from San Diego to New York!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Joanne you’re a sweetheart!

    Yes this is a repeat performance hahaha!

    Wishing you all the best, Joanne.

  74. Megan says:

    First Natashya, now you? What is it with you two and the chops? I’m dying here!

    Hope you had a great birthday!

  75. sophia says:

    Um, ew. A real live C-section? I just lost my appetite (thank god for you lovely Pork Chop Milanese to stir it back up).
    In the danger of sounding absolutely selfish and immature…I NEVER WANT TO HAVE A BabY!!! Why do I wanna suffer hours and hours of horrible pain and sweat and humiliation (legs spread wide to the world, hellllooo?) just to give birth to a bratty kid who will probably give me even more grief and hate me when she’s a teenager?

  76. Danielle says:

    LOL been there, done that. long story short…ended up with a c section anyway. I tried. I swear! LOL (in my defense, my 1st was natural…no meds no nothing. that was before I knew better).
    and you milanese looks wonderful! and a lot easier than giving birth ๐Ÿ˜€

  77. Graziana says:

    Don’t tell me, I can’t have a C section because the anesthesiologist was nowhere to be found, when I heard that I wanted to kill them all… and sometimes I still want to!
    I hope one day my baby will dedicate a recipe to me for this too, well done!

  78. Marcia says:

    Okay, I am a few days late, but Happy Birthday! Sorry I missed the party. I don’t remember the epidural being bad, but the anesthesiologist was a pro. No C-section for me (we’ve got big birthing hips in my family).

  79. Katy ~ says:

    Childbirth is the highest form of creation, but think I’ll stay with cooking, grins.

    This recipe is drool-worthy!! You’ve done your family proud.

    And Happy Birthday. Hope this is a year with birthday wishes come true for you.

  80. Pete says:

    Lots of nice food here. Love the veggies dishes

  81. […] Four years ago…Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread Pudding, Pork Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad […]

  82. […] Maple Syrup, Wasabi and Crystallized Ginger Dark Chocolate Brownies Three years ago…Pork Chop Milanese with Arugula Salad Four years ago…Roasted Butternut Squash and Guacamole […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *