A Friendswood kitchen renovation reignites couple’s love of cooking
Lisa and Skip Teel met at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces when they were in college and shared a common interest in all things spicy, they said.
Remodeling their Friendswood kitchen four years ago jump-started their fondness for cooking with Hatch green chiles, they said.
“Since those peppers are seasonal, we make it a point to buy a case of roasted Hatch chiles at H-E-B’s Hatch Chile Festival during August and September and freeze them for future use,” Lisa Teel said.
Because the Teels like to cook together, they envisioned more of an open-concept kitchen with multiple drawers and upgraded appliances, plus darker cabinets to create a warmer ambience.
“I didn’t take much of an interest in cooking when I was young, but I’m now more adventurous as an adult, especially when it comes to chiles and red chili powder,” Teel said. “My mother-in-law gave me a copy of ‘New Mexican Dishes’ cookbook by Philomena Romero, circa 1970, years ago that I refer to. Philomena’s was also a delicious restaurant in Los Alamos, New Mexico.”
The first thing on the kitchen remodeling agenda was replacing the cabinets, she said.
“The original cabinets were birch with a yellowish cast, but I envisioned something much darker,” Teel said. “I got in touch with Randy Godeau of Bay Area Kitchens in Webster and just fell in love with the wood and the color we chose. They’re Wood-Mode door-style cabinets with a cherry finish and intricate moldings, accent panels and corbels. The upper glass cabinet doors have lit interiors, the island matches the wood and was built with 14 drawers because I absolutely love having tons of drawer space. The island and countertops are Crema Bordeaux granite from Brazil with beautiful red earth tones.
“The damask dimensional tile with stone behind the six-burner Wolf range is by Encore Ceramics and was designed by Wanda Dinklage, owner of House of Interiors in La Marque. It really adds to the look I was going for. Scott Haig of Bay Area Kitchens designed the custom-range vent as well as the cabinetry. All appliances, including the sink, are stainless steel.”
The couple also did some remodeling of the adjoining family room by changing out the cabinets.
“It’s the same Wood-Mode design, but a bit lighter than the kitchen cabinets, and I used the same kitchen granite pattern for the wet bar,” Teel said. “We also installed a wine cooler. We had previously changed out the front door, floors and windows, so it’s all been quite a transformation.”
With Skip’s retirement approaching, the couple now will have more time for experimenting in the kitchen and whipping up chile-inspired recipes, they said.
“I always have ground turkey and chile pods in the freezer to make turkey chili, plus I have a collection of chili powders, like Chimayó,” Teel said. “We both like to cook and try new recipes, especially those that involve Hatch Chile peppers — like green chile stew.”
Spice tips: Keep chili powders in the freezer for freshness.
Best gadget: Rocker stainless steel garlic crusher
Casual dinnerware: Aztec Blue by Mikasa
Hatch Green Chile Stew
15-20 roasted and peeled New Mexico Hatch green chiles roughly chopped (don’t chop too small)
1 container frozen Bueno Hatch Autumn Roast green chile, thawed
1 pound coarse ground hamburger meat
1 pound ground pork
2-3 cups chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons corn oil or olive oil
6-8 small red potatoes, quartered
½ onion chopped
3-4 garlic gloves, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon oregano
Salt to taste
Shredded colby or mild cheddar cheese
In a sauté pan on medium heat, add 1 teaspoon oil and sauté 1 clove of garlic until lightly browned. Add hamburger to pan until lightly browned. Remove hamburger and reserve drippings. Add ground pork to same pan and lightly brown and remove drippings. You can save some or all of the drippings from the pan to add to the stew later if you prefer, but you might need to skim some oil as the stew simmers.
In a stew pot (preferably a thinner, taller pot) on medium heat, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of oil, onion and rest of garlic. Cook until the onion begins to sweat, and the garlic is lightly brown. Add the reserved hamburger, pork and pan drippings. Add all the green chiles. You can add more if desired. You want to see more green chile than meat. Add chicken stock to cover. Add the cumin (more to taste) and oregano. Salt to taste. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Skim any excess oil. Add red potatoes (they’ll soak up the juices and take on the green chile flavor). Simmer until the red potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork.
Serve hot in bowls, top with shredded cheddar cheese and serve with warm flour tortillas on the side.