My love of chili goes way back. I would say my life in chili started about the age of 5 years old. That day I was in our tiny kitchen in California and a friend of my momma came over to make us homemade chili.
I remember being very excited, I don’t really know why but I just remember loving the sound of homemade chili. My mommas friend was from Tennessee and that day he showed us Californians how chili was supposed to be.
I remember him slicing the onion and asking me to peel off the skin. Then he diced the onion real small. He was like a competent surgeon as he sliced and diced all the vegetables.
I asked why he needed everything to be so small, he said because it’s supposed to be little so you want bite into big pieces of vegetables. He said you want people to focus on the chili, not the vegetables in the chili.
Remembering the smell of the perfectly browned meat simmering in the pot and the different colors of the chili spices spread out over the cabinet. That is proably where my love of spices developed.
It was as if he and I were creating this mystery sauce, that no one was ever going to be able to duplicate. It was as he stated; our top secret recipe.
I was in pure amazement when I tasted that chili, about as amazed as possible for a 5 year old child. Because I was his helper, I received the first bowl of Tennessee chili and yes Texans it had beans in it!
Fast forward 10 years later when I was introduced to a new chili, this time it was of the con carne style.
My cousin Stephanie took me and my other cousins after a trip to magic mountain, to have dinner at this little hole in the wall or current term “dive” and when we drove up I was thinking to myself where am I, it’s dark, I am scared, and I don’t want to eat here?
Then I looked around and thought, why are all these people standing in line, eating outside by their cars and where are the seats?
What my then 15 year old mind was unable to comprehend, I was entering and about to experience for the first time, chili greatness.
I was being introduced to world famous, at least in my world growing up in California the one and only Original Tommy’s Chili house.
I believe it was the Rampart Blvd location, or it could have been the Beverly Blvd location, who cares really, all I know, that was the best darn chili con carne I have ever eaten, hands down.
That chili was so good I spent the next 20 years trying to duplicate the recipe. Yes, I have come close but I still have not mastered the master of chili recipes. And yes Texans, there were no beans in it!
Spicy Chili Cheese Dogs:
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
8 high quality hot dogs
8 high quality hot dog buns
3 c. Spicy Roasted Chili Con Carne
1 tbsp. cooking oil
diced red onions
diced green onions
Rinse hot dogs off, pat dry. In a medium skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil. Add hot dogs, sprinkle with celery salt and cook for about 10 minutes turning occasionally.
Zap buns in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds. Assemble dogs and top with chili con carne. Remember to sauce the dog, not the bun! Enjoy