Tapas de Hongos y Patatas

A savory, spicy hors d'oeuvre or side dish, in a Spanish style. In Spain, the tradition of tapas tasting involves sitting around in tapas bars during the late afternoon hours, sampling light delicacies while sipping a hardy red wine. This variation uses the strong taste and firm texture of young Prince mushrooms, sautéed with baby red potatoes in red wine and garlic. Try serving it with some bread and salted olive oil, red wine, and perhaps some anchovies, green olives or pickled herring.

Partially precook the baby potatoes by boiling for about 5 minutes, or put them in a microwave for 3-4 minutes unil they just begin to get soft. Allow to cool for a few minutes, then cut the potatoes in half or quarters to get bite-size chunks. Chop the mushroom into cubes roughly the same size as the potatoes or a bit smaller. Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan, and sautee the mushroom chunks for about 5 minutes or until most of the water has evaporated. Toss in the salt, chopped peppers and minced garlic, and continue to sautée for 3-5 minutes. Put in the potatoes and stir occasionally for 5 more minutes, or until the potatoes begin to brown at the edges. Reduce the heat to medium and pour in half of the wine. Continue cooking until the wine is completely evaporated (a few more minutes.) Add the remainder of the wine, with the parsley and black pepper, and cook a few more minutes until the liquid is mostly (but not completely) dried up. The sauce should moisten the potatoes without forming pools at the bottom. Serve immediately.

Variations: If you are sensitive to hot peppers, you can substitute pickled Italian pepperoncini or roasted sweet bell peppers for the hot pepper. If red wine is unavailable, you can use a splash of balsamic vinegar for a similar effect.