In addition to a Tabasco tour and tasting, the McIlhenny Company gives pepper lovers another reason to visit their operation on Avery Island. New restaurant 1868 is named for the establishment date of Tabasco brand pepper sauce and features a diverse menu of Tabasco-infused Cajun favorites — from Pepper Jelly Boudin to 7-Spice Chili — prepared by Head Chef Lionel Robin and Sous Chef Chantel Derouen seven days a week.
For the meatballs:
6 oz. ground beef
6 oz. ground pork
6 oz. ground veal
1/2 cup grated Cotija or Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp. salt
4 cloves garlic, minced and sauteed
For the sauce:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 Tbsp. TABASCO brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
2 (12-oz.) cans crushed Italian tomatoes
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. sugar
4 (6-inch) hero rolls
Queso Oaxaca or mozzarella, shredded
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. To make the meatballs, gently combine meat, eggs, cheese, bread crumbs, salt and garlic. Shape mixture into 20 meatballs and place on a baking sheet. Bake until lightly brown, about 6 minutes.
For the sauce, heat oil in a saucepan placed over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, cumin and paprika and sweat until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Add vinegar and TABASCO Chipotle Sauce. Bring to a simmer. Add crushed tomatoes, salt and sugar to the pot and simmer for 10 minutes. Gently add in meatballs and simmer until they are fully cooked through, about 12-14 minutes.
To serve, place five meatballs in roll, top with sauce and cheese.
Recipe and photo courtesy of The McIlhenny Company.