The type of mushrooms normally used for this dish are Cèpes, a French term which should be applied only to the Porcini variety. For this dish, you may also use cultivated mushrooms, like champignons, as long as they are fresh.
It’s one of the most popular dishes in a Spanish tapas bar, Russian Potato Salad. During the Franco dictatorship the word Russia was “prohibido” hence the dish was called – in public only – Ensalada Nacional. As part of a tapas dish tuna (the canned variety in chunks) or small shrimps are added as well as sliced hard boiled eggs as garnish. I love Ensalada Rusa also as a side dish without tuna.
Stuffat tal Fenek is a national dish from Malta. The mild, tender rabbit meat is infused with rich, hearty flavors from the red wine sauce and spices. A marvelous slow cooked dish enjoyed by Maltese families on Saints Peter and Paul day on June 29. Tradionally served with pasta, I recommend polenta or roasted vegetables.
Potatoes, onions, red peppers, olives and a few spices baked in olive oil – it’s amazing what a few good ingredients can do to a simple dish. It could even serve as a vegetarian main course.
Rabbit meat is low fat and has a delicate flavor. Coniglio con Finocchio e Pancetta, a classic dish from the Marche region in Italy, uses fennel as its partner, which grows wild here. Fennel has a subtle, yet unmistakable anise flavor.
There are many versions of this traditional recipe which hails from the Spanish region of Navarra. My version of Trucha a la Navarra uses salmon fillets, but cod or monkfish is equally good. The distinct nutty flavor of the Serrano ham and the slightly sweet taste of the sherry vinegar make this dish pop with flavor.