Recipe: Get you grillin' on with something awesome

Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs for dinner tonight
Photo provided

Family Features -- Summer is gone. The fall weather is making its way into Illinois taking its place. There's still more time to get out and grill some delicious food to enjoy after a Friday night football game or to serve when all the fellas are over Sunday's NFL game.

For dudes that know their way around a flame, taking your cooking skills to the next level, all you need is a little inspiration to go along with those deft skills you already have around a grill. It is easy to turn family meals or get-togethers with guys into an extravagant culinary adventure, take your backyard barbecues to new heights and impress friends and neighbors with your pitmaster-worthy creations.

In fact, it can be as easy as turning on the TV. From beef ribs and barbacoa to curried brisket rice and pho rub beef belly spring rolls, viewers are in for a treat by tuning into season 3 of "BBQuest: Beyond the Pit," a video series that dives into the long-held traditions, new flavors and everyday inspiration that make Texas barbecue legendary.

The show follows four themes that capture the very essence of Texas barbecue: legacy and tradition; creativity and innovation; Texas trailblazers; and family and community.

You can bring barbecue flavors home and cook like a pitmaster with dishes recreated from the series and developed by "Hardcore Carnivore" cookbook author Jess Pryles, including Smoked Chuck Beef Ribs and these mouth-watering Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs.

"Since launching BBQuest four years ago, it's truly remarkable to see how much has changed and yet stayed the same when it comes to Texas barbecue, and that's exactly what you see in season 3," said Rachel Chou, Texas Beef Council's director of consumer marketing. "There has been so much exciting innovation around cooking methods and international flavors while there's still a huge dedication to long-held recipes and smoking techniques."

Learn more about the show and find inspiration to bring the taste of barbecue to your kitchen at

Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs

Recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles on behalf of Beef Loving Texans

Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 15

What you will need:

1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
3/4 cup milk
2 pounds ground beef
3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
8 ounces cheddar cheese, finely diced
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons kosher salt


How to make this tonight:

Place crushed tortilla chips in large bowl. Add milk and allow chips to soften about 10 minutes.

After milk is absorbed, add beef, jalapenos, cheese, paprika, garlic and salt. Mix well to combine then scoop approximately 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture to form meatball; repeat with remaining mixture.

Place meatballs on plate or tray and refrigerate 30 minutes to firm.

Heat grill to medium for two zone cooking.

Place meatballs on indirect heat side of grill away from coals or lit burner; close lid. Grill 25-35 minutes, or until meatballs reach 165 F internal temperature on meat thermometer.

Remove meatballs from grill and cool slightly before serving.