A few weeks ago, Dan Hetland of Tampa asked for help finding a recipe for a Hungarian fried noodle dish served during the 1980s in the employee dining room at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. The dish, Dan said, included bacon, pasta noodles and possibly sauerkraut, along with several other ingredients.
Joy Register sent a recipe to the rescue. She asked friend and native Hungarian Mary Nagy to adapt it using the ingredients Dan identified. Mary used to live locally in Ridge Manor but now lives closer to her children in Massachusetts.
"Mary is very familiar with this dish and writes that it's very popular in her kitchen," Joy says.
Probably closer to the ingredients of what Dan was looking for was a dish sent by Betty Griffin, a self-described "recipe freak" who collects all kinds of cookbooks.
"I am Hungarian and still cook those foods and desserts," Betty writes. "What he is looking for could be many dishes, [but which are] made differently."
Her recipe is what runs today.
HUNGARIAN FRIED NOODLES
2 medium sweet onions, chopped
1 head green cabbage, shredded
1 carrot shredded
1-2 sticks butter
1 package wide noodles, prepared according to bag instructions
Salt and pepper, to taste
Shred the the cabbage and carrots and add a generous amount of sea salt. Mix and let it stand for 15-20 minutes. Squeeze out excess juice and set aside.
Using a large frying or roasting pan, cook the onions in butter on high heat until they begin to appear translucent. Add cabbage and shredded carrot on high heat. Stir constantly to avoid burning.
Add the cooked noodles and fry for several minutes until noodles stiffen slightly. Add salt and pepper to taste for seasoning.
Crabmeat sauce found
Denice Skipper-Jordan of Tampa asked several weeks ago for a recipe to make "the wonderful crabmeat sauce" served at the former Pizza Parlor in Tampa.
Doris R. Roberts of Riverview sent a recipe for the Crabmeat Spaghetti Sauce she makes, which was once published in a collection called "Cookin' With the Q-Zoo Radio's Red Hot Recipe Book." It appeared on page 132.
The cookbook, published in 1984 by Joyce LaFray, can be found for sale online. Lee Roy Selmon, Burt Reynolds, George Steinbrenner and former Tampa Mayor Bob Martinez also contributed their favorite recipes.
For the recipe, Doris advises using refrigerated pasteurized crab meat. "Do not use shelf canned crabmeat, which is too strong."
CRABMEAT SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Serves six to eight.
1 large onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1?4 cup olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon crushed oregano
1 28-ounce can tomato puree
1 1?2 pounds lump crab meat
1 jar sliced mushrooms (optional)
1?2 cup dry sherry
Sugar to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
Saute, until transparent, onion and pepper in olive oil in non-corrosive Dutch oven. Add all other ingredients except crab meat. Simmer over low heat about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add crab meat and simmer to heat through, about 10 minutes. Do not overcook. Serve over spaghetti or linguine. Sprinkle cheese, as desired, over sauce.
Kathy Crum of Wesley Chapel is looking for a recipe to make homemade ice cream that blends a custard with a noncustard base.
Beth Mainello of Tampa wants to make the salad dressing that was made table-side 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.
Recipes Lost & Found runs every other Sunday in Baylife. Seeking a recipe? Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to Jeff Houck, The Tampa Tribune, P.O. Box 191, Tampa, FL 33601.