Helen Mitchell of Tampa called to ask for a crab enchilado recipe. “I’ll take Michelle Faedo’s recipe, if she’ll part with it,” Helen said. Earlier this month, Michelle cooked a giant batch of enchilado — also known as crab chilau — for the inaugural Tampa Crab Enchilado Feast at the Tampa Cruis-a-Cade Club. Some of the proceeds benefited Trinity Cafe, which provides meals for the homeless. “We grew up eating crab enchilado,” Michelle recently told Tribune correspondent Lenora Lake.
“What makes it good is we make it all with fresh tomatoes, garlic and crab. And we cook the sauce at least 10 hours or all day.” Michelle has been kind enough to share her recipe. Allow me to suggest serving it on a bed of spaghetti with a side of devil crab. That’s good eats, Tampa style. A taste of Kirby’s Reader Brenda Hazen would love to have the recipe for the rum cakes sold at the former Kirby’s Bakery in Plant City. “I have tried several different recipes and nothing comes close,” Brenda writes. I get requests often for Kirby’s pastries and baked goods. Former customers dearly miss their food. Here is a recipe from the Tribune’s archive. The rum cake recipe first ran in 1995. Leftover requests Beth Mainello of Tampa wants to make the salad dressing that was made tableside at Tio Pepe’s restaurant in Clearwater. She also wants to know what type of lettuce was used. Robin Rogoff wants the recipe for Circles Bistro’s chicken Marsala with rice pilaf. Susan Stevens wants to make the spaghetti sauce and salad dressing recipes served at the now-closed Gus’ Italian restaurants in Tampa. Eva Ebert wants the recipe for the mixed greens salad with vinaigrette and grilled chicken she used to enjoy at the now-closed El Pilon Restaurant in South Tampa. CRAB ENCHILADO (Serves 4 to 6) Olive oil to coat pan 2 chopped red bell peppers 1 chopped green bell pepper 10 celery stalks chopped 10 cloves of garlic chopped 1 chopped onion Red pepper flakes to taste 1 16-ounce can of whole plum tomatoes with juice 1 16-ounce can of crushed tomatoes with juice 6 anchovy filets 1 10-ounce can of tomato sauce ½ cup tomato paste 1 bottle of white wine 1-2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons of onion powder 1 tablespoon Complete seasoning 3 packets of Goya seasoning 1 tablespoon salt to taste Pepper to taste 6 tablespoons sugar 1 to 2 dozen cleaned blue crabs Coat pan with olive oil and heat on high temperature on stove. Add bell peppers, celery, garlic, onions and red pepper flakes. Add whole plum tomatoes, crushed tomatoes and cook until softened. Add anchovy filets, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Add wine and cook for 10-15 minutes Add bay leaves, onion powder, Complete seasoning, Goya seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar and let simmer for 4 hours. Adjust seasonings to taste. When satisfied, add blue crabs into sauce and let simmer until crabs turn red, about 30 to 45 minutes. Serves 4 to 6. RUM CAKE (Serves 12 to 16) ½ cup chopped nuts ½ cup cooking oil 1 package of pudding-in-the-mix yellow cake mix ½ cup cold water ½ cup rum 4 eggs Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Generously grease a large Bundt pan. Sprinkle nuts on the bottom. Beat remaining ingredients except sauce for 6 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer. Pour over nuts in pan. Bake for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Prepare sauce about 10 minutes before the cake is done. Pour all of the sauce over the cake still in the pan. Let it sit until the sauce is well-absorbed, about 20 to 30 minutes. Invert onto a plate. Sauce In a saucepan, bring to a boil 1 stick of margarine, 1 cup sugar, ¼ cup rum and ¼ cup water, stirring constantly. Boil slowly for 2 minutes.