While in New Orleans last month, I had one of the best Bloody Mary cocktails I’ve had in a long time. In traditional NOLO style, the bartender mixed in a hearty dose of horseradish, spicy cajun seasonings and zesty hot sauce. He even served it with two spicy-hot pickled green beans. It was delicious! So much so, here I am weeks later still thinking about it!
So in honor of that wonderful cocktail, I decided to create these yummy Bloody Mary meatballs. The creamy horseradish, rich tomato paste and zesty, hot sauce, infuse the meatballs with a spicy, flavorful kick.
And when it comes to pickling vegetables, you can play around with just about any vegetable and seasoning combination you like. I added jalapeño and crushed red pepper seeds to my version, just to give the veggies a tad bit more heat.
When I closed my eyes and took a bite of one of the meatballs along with the vegetables, I almost felt like I was in New Orleans again! Delicious!
Ingredients for Vegetables:
1 cup white wine vinegar
1 cup water
½ cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ cup cauliflower florets
½ cup red onion, sliced into rings
½ cup yellow bell peppers, sliced into rings
½ cup small cucumber, sliced into rounds
½ cup carrots, sliced into thin rounds
½ cup fresh green beans
1 jalapeno, sliced into rounds
Ingredients for Meatballs:
2 pounds ground sirloin
2 tablespoons hot sauce
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons creamy horseradish
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon hot Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon celery seeds
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon pepper
Directions for Vegetables:
1) Combine the vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
2) Place the remaining vegetable ingredients in a large jar and pour the pickling liquid into the jar.
3) Allow the mixture to cool and then cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Directions for Meatballs:
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Combine the meatball ingredients together in a bowl and then form the mixture into 1 inch meatballs.
3) Preheat an oven proof skillet to medium high heat and gently place the meatballs in the pan with enough room to prevent them from sticking. Season the meatballs with salt and pepper, alternately cooking and turning them until they are browned on all sides.
4) Place the skillet in the oven and cook the meatballs until cooked through, about 6 to 8 minutes.
5) To serve the dish, distribute meatballs to serving plates along with the drained pickled vegetables.