Wild Mushroom and Beef Soup

Well, a little skiff of snow fell last night, reminding me that winter really is still here, even if spring is supposed to arrive early. Yesterday, it was 55 degrees here in Reno. Current temp…about 35. Sounds like a good day for soup.

Here’s a tasty recipe for some earthy wild mushroom and beef soup. Dried wild mushrooms or soup mushroom packets can be used for this recipe. They are usually found in the produce or soup sections of your grocery store. Any ‘ol mix of mushrooms will do.

Wild Mushroom and Beef SoupIngredients
1 1-oz. package dried wild mushrooms or soup mix mushrooms
2 cups boiling water
3 Tbsps. vegetable oil, divided
2 lbs. beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 shallots, chopped
2 medium carrots or about 20 baby carrots, peeled and chopped
1 lb. bag baby Dutch yellow potatoes
1 garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsps. tomato paste
2 32-oz. containers low-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup red wine
Chopped parsley
Fresh mushrooms, sliced (optional)
Worcestershire Sauce (optional)

In a small bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and boiling water. Set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the dried mushrooms and boiling water. Set aside.

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsps. of oil over medium-high heat until very hot.

In a Dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsps. of oil over medium-high heat until very hot.

Season the beef with salt and pepper.

Season the beef with salt and pepper.

Add meat and cook in batches until browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes.

Add meat to Dutch oven and cook in batches until browned on all sides, about 2-3 minutes.

Remove to a plate.

Remove to a plate.

Lower heat to medium and add another Tbsp. of oil to the Dutch oven. Saute onion, carrots and garlic until softened, about 7 minutes.

Lower heat to medium and add another Tbsp. of oil to the Dutch oven. Saute onion, carrots and garlic until softened, about 7 minutes.

Nicely cooked veggies.

Nicely cooked veggies.

Add the tomato paste...

Add the tomato paste.

and combine thoroughly.

Combine thoroughly and cook for about 2 minutes.

Return the meat to the pot.

Return the meat to the pot.

Add the beef broth and wine.

Add the beef broth and wine.

Add the potatoes and bring to a boil.

Add the potatoes and bring to a boil.

Drain the mushrooms. Chop them and add to the soup.

Drain the mushrooms. Chop them and add to the soup. If you want an even heartier soup, add the sliced fresh mushrooms as well.

Simmer the soup for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until beef and potatoes are tender.

Simmer the soup for 1 hour and 30 minutes or until beef and potatoes are tender.

Don't be surprised if your soup smiles back at you.

Don’t be surprised if your soup smiles back at you.

Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce for a little added flavor.

Serve with a sprinkle of chopped parsley and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce for a little added flavor. Enjoy!

Lodge Skillet Giveaway – Winner Announced!

So, here it is, my 50th post on Valentine’s Day. Hope you all have wonderful plans with your sweeties today.

Thanks also to all of you who participated in my first giveaway. Makes my heart feel good to offer such a wonderful Lodge skillet and lid to the lucky winner….who is:

Bloggy Moms

Thank you Bloggy Moms for following The Skillet action on Twitter.

To claim your skillet, please email me at skilletgirlreply@gmail.com so we can make arrangements for me to send it to you.

Congratulations!

And for the rest of you, fear not, I have future giveaways planned so stay tuned!

Thanks again for reading The Skillet and Happy Valentine’s Day!

Lodge Skillet Giveaway!

So here it is. My first ever giveaway! The Skillet blog is nearing its six-month anniversary and 50th post, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and I want to spread the love of cast iron cuisine by giving away this wonderful 12-inch Lodge Cast Iron Skillet with Lid.

Lodge Skillet with Lid

I swear by Lodge skillets. They are featured in this blog and used daily in my kitchen. Lodge skillets are pre-seasoned, making them ready for cooking on your stovetop, in your oven, or over the campfire. And they are made in the good ‘ol U S of A!

So here’s how to enter for your chance to win. If you do all three, you are entered three times in the giveaway.

PLEASE NOTE: Existing followers of the blog and on Twitter, and “Likes” on Facebook are automatically entered. That’s my thank you to my loyal followers!

  1. Become a follower of The Skillet blog. Simply click on the “Follow” button on the sidebar to the right, enter your email address, and receive future posts in your mailbox.
  2. “Like” The Skillet blog on Facebook. Hit the “Like” button in the sidebar to the right. (The one with the goofy cowgirl photo – yep, that’s me. Cowgirl Wannabe.)
  3. Become a follower on Twitter. Just look for that cute little bluebird on the sidebar to the right and “Follow @theskilletblog.”

The winner will be chosen randomly and announced on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, making it my 50th post!

Please leave a comment if you have any questions about the giveaway.

And thanks SO MUCH for reading this blog and joining in on my cast iron adventure!

Seared Scallops with Spinach Salad and Pomegranate Gastrique

Looking for a nice dinner for Valentine’s Day? This light and tasty seafood dish is sweet, savory and a little tangy – just like most relationships. Pair it with a nice bottle of wine and anything chocolate for dessert and you’ll be sure to get someone’s heart pounding.

Seared ScallopsIngredients
1-2 Tbsps. Oil (olive or canola)
8 – 12 Sea Scallops, fresh or thawed
1 Tangerine, Clementine or Tangelo (a citrus hybrid of a tangerine, pomelo or grapefruit)
2 oz. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, shaved
Salt and Pepper

Pomegranate Gastrique:
3/4 cup Sugar
1/3 cup Rice Wine Vinegar
1/3 cup Pomegranate Juice

Spinach Salad:
2 Tbsps. Oil (olive or canola)
Juice of 1 Lime
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1/2 tsp. Brown Mustard
1/2 – 1 tsp. Honey
1 cup Baby Spinach
Salt and Pepper

Prepare the gastrique by combining sugar, rice wine vinegar and pomegranate juice in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat.

Prepare the gastrique by combining sugar, rice wine vinegar and pomegranate juice in small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until syrupy. Remove from heat.

While the gastrique is thickening, prepare the salad dressing by combining 2 Tbsp. oil, lime juice, minced garlic, brown mustard, honey, and salt and pepper in a mason jar. Shake well. Don't have a mason jar? Whisk ingredients together in a bowl.

While the gastrique is thickening, prepare the salad dressing by combining 2 Tbsps. oil, lime juice, minced garlic, brown mustard, honey, and salt and pepper in a mason jar. Shake well. Don’t have a mason jar? Whisk ingredients together in a bowl.

Place the spinach in a bowl.

Place the spinach in a bowl.

Drizzle with the honey mustard dressing and toss.

Drizzle with the honey mustard dressing and toss.

Now for the main event. Heat 1- 2 Tbsps. of oil in a cast iron skillet. Make sure the oil is hot.

Now for the main event. Heat 1- 2 Tbsps. of oil in a cast iron skillet. Make sure the oil is hot.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper.

Place in the hot skillet and sear on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side.

Place in the hot skillet and sear on each side until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side.

Lovely golden seared scallops.

Lovely golden seared scallops.

Serve scallops on a bed of the spinach salad.  Top with the tangelo sections. Drizzle the pomegranate gastrique over dish and top with shaved cheese. Voila! A homemade gourmet dish for your honey.

Serve scallops on a bed of the spinach salad. Top with the tangelo sections. Drizzle the pomegranate gastrique over dish and top with shaved cheese. Voila! A homemade gourmet dish for your honey.

Golden Gate Lemon Chicken Spinach Soup

If you are trying to get your kids to eat the green stuff and the Popeye routine of “it makes you strong – agugugugu” doesn’t work, maybe this tasty soup with spinach as one of its star ingredients will help. Tell them that, if they eat their spinach, they might grow up to be Colin Kaepernick. Okay, it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I had to get my Niners/Nevada Wolf Pack props in somewhere. So, in honor of my husband’s favorite football team and Nevada’s favorite quarterback, enjoy a bowl of Golden Gate Lemon Chicken Spinach Soup. It’s not exactly party food, but it just might help your muscles grow. Next thing you know, you’ll be giving your biceps a big ‘ol smooch. I hope there will be a lot of Kaepernickin’ going on today. Go Kap!

Golden Gate Lemon Chicken Spinach SoupIngredients
1 Tbsp. Oil
2 – 4 Shallots, diced
1 Carrot or about 15 Baby Carrots, sliced
2 32-oz. containers of Chicken Broth
2 Bay Leaves
4 cups Garlic Rotisserie Chicken, shredded
1/4 cup Lemon Juice, about 2 lemons
6 oz. bag, Baby Spinach
Salt and Pepper to taste

Heat oil in a cast iron Dutch oven.

Heat oil in a cast iron Dutch oven.

Saute the shallots and carrots together...

Saute the shallots and carrots together…

until they become soft.

until they become soft.

Add the chicken broth and bay leaves.

Add the chicken broth and bay leaves.

Bring to a boil.

Bring to a boil.

Let simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

Let simmer on medium-low heat for 15 minutes.

Add the chicken.

Add the chicken.

Add the lemon juice.

Add the lemon juice.

And the spinach.

And the spinach.

Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer the soup for a couple of minutes until the chicken is heated through and the spinach gently wilts.

Enjoy! P.S. the broth is perfect for bread dippin' while you're Kaepernickin'.

Enjoy! P.S. The broth is perfect for bread dippin’ while you’re Kaepernickin’.