I have been in the kitchen cooking since I was a young girl. It's something I've always enjoyed. I was probably about 10 when I started making chili. It was my mom's recipe and was pretty simple and didn't have a lot of ingredients. But even back then, I felt a need to tweak recipes and make them my own. So I would try and jazz up her recipe with different spices. And as a 10 year old, there wasn't a lot of rhyme or reason to the spices I chose to put in.
My most memorable batch of chili was one where things went totally awry. I was at the stove, stirring away, adding spices....and reading a book at the same time (I was a book worm). Well, the whole reading the book thing was NOT a good idea. For some reason, I thought the chili needed celery salt and so I'm shaking away with the container....and not paying any attention (I had a good book, remember)....which was bad because the shaker top fell off and a whole PILE of celery salt went into the chili.
Since this was actually supposed to be my family's dinner, it was not a good thing. So my mom got involved at this point and we're both trying to scoop the celery salt out of the pot. But of course, I'd already stirred some of it in, since I wasn't actually watching what I was doing. We did what we could, we tried to doctor it up so that it would be edible. Needless to say, it was awful! We definitely had to go to plan B for dinner that night.
The recipe I use today is still based on that chili (but no celery salt). Over the years I've added a few more ingredients to update the recipe, but it still reminds me of that long ago chili. My family really loves this recipe, too. They're always very excited for dinner when they know this is on the menu.
Lisa's Two Bean Chili
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 lb ground beef ( I used 93% lean)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 15 oz can chili beans, do not drain
- 1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 2 to 3 tbsp chili powder (depending on how spicy you want it to be)
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper (more if you want it spicier)
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped cilantro - optional for garnish
Get your onion and garlic chopped
Heat oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add ground beef and start breaking it up with a spoon
Once the beef is broken up and is starting to brown, add the onion and garlic. Continue cooking until beef is cooked through and the onion is soft and translucent. Lightly salt and pepper the mixture.
Add both beans and the tomatoes.
Add spices and combine thoroughly.
Allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes, longer if you have time, to allow the flavors to develop. Serve with desired toppings.