blackened cutlet pasta

Some years ago, there was a restaurant/bar in a strip mall near the airport here in town. I worked at the hospital at the time, and some of us would go there for lunch on occasion. The only thing I ever ate there was blackened chicken pasta. It was creamy and spicy and more than enough for lunch and some leftovers, which I would take home and incorporate into whatever we were having for supper. There were peas in it, which I carefully picked around. Under no circumstances will I ever eat green peas. They don’t even make it across my threshold.

peas

Anyhoo, that restaurant closed and has been several bar/restaurants since. Currently, it is The Sandbar, although it is nowhere near sand or even a body of water, really, unless you count Lake Wylie, which is down the road a piece.

One day, I decided I wanted that dish again (sans the peas.) I found a ton of recipes on the internet that all sort of kind of maybe but not really came close, smushed them all together and got all trial and error on it for a while. Once I mastered the sauce, I realized that I don’t really enjoy boneless chicken in a dish that has a good chance of ending up as leftovers, so I swapped out the chicken for some thin pork cutlets and voila … : )

I always keep a small Mason jar of Emeril’s essence in my pantry to use in my cooking. I’ll toss the recipe for making it at the bottom of this so you don’t have to follow another link in the middle of cooking.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound linguini
  • 1/8 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4-6 thin boneless pork cutlets (depending on how many you’re feeding)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon’s Emeril’s Essence (recipe at bottom)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon minced habanero pepper
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan (don’t use that canned stuff. ugh)

Cook linguine with the kosher salt until al dente. Don’t overcook! About 12 minutes should suffice. Reserve a cup or so of the pasta liquid when you drain it.

Start the sauce while the pasta cooks. In a saute pan, heat the butter and olive oil. Season the cutlets with 1 tablespoon of Essence and and 1/2 teaspoon of salt (use a little more of each if you’ve bumped the recipe up to 6 cutlets.) Sear on both sides, and then remove and set aside. Add the onions, habanero and garlic to the pan and saute until the onions are soft. Add the cream, the remaining Essence and salt to taste. Bring to a boil and cook until the sauce has reduced a bit and thickened. Stir in a bit of the pasta water until it is a good cream sauce consistency.

Place the linquini in a shallow pasta dish with the cutlets on top. Pour the sauce over the top and toss to coat. Sprinkle with green onions, parsley and parmesan.

Emeril’s Essence recipe:

Toss the following into a small Mason jar and shake the hell out of it.

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
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