Yesterday's recipe for a chili that's an interpretation of the chili at Ron's Hamburgers and Chili had a lot of people talking.

First, we heard from those both espousing and denigrating the merits of tomatoes in chili. Purists say no way. Others say tomatoes add depth (and a little nutrition) to a good bowl of red.

But Glenna Pickett's recipe, which she served at her downtown deli, Choices, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, uses no tomatoes. She says that's what makes it so close to the version so loved by Ron's regulars.

Another reader told us the real secret to Ron's chili is using dried chiles. If you want to try this method, puree the dried chiles with a little bit of oil or water, then cook that mixture with the onions and other spices before adding to the ground beef.

There's no consensus among Oklahomans on the perfect bowl of chili. In other words, most of us wouldn't turn down a bowl of either.

Here again is Glenna Pickett's recipe.


1/2 cup chili powder

1 tablespoon leaf oregano

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

1/2 tablespoon garlic powder

1 cup water

3 pounds ground beef (not too lean)

3/4 cup whole-wheat flour

1. Combine all spices. Set aside.

2. Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add beef, and cook until all pink is gone. Make a well in center, and dissolve spices in well juices. Stir, and cook for approximately 15 minutes. Make another well in center. Add and dissolve flour. Then, stir as quickly as possible to avoid burning. Remove from heat and continue to stir for at least 2 minutes.

3. Pour into shallow pan, and make indentations in chili for grease to accumulate. Skim grease until it quits forming. This chili may be placed in a container and frozen, and is best if not eaten the same day.

Note: This is a concentrated chili so it needs to be heated in a double boiler or on very low heat and diluted with water until the proper consistency.