No Cookbooks for Actor While He Prepares Ethnic Food

Aug 7, 1983
The Palm Beach Post

Fans know him best by his character, the dashing often mysterious anthropologist Quint McCord Chamberlain on CBS-TV's top-rated soap Guiding Light.

Tylo, a native of Detroit, loves to duplicate the Hungarian food prepared by his grandmother. "I love all those Hungarian dishes. I make stuffed cabbage, chicken paprikash and goulash. Now I'm teaching my wife (actress Deborah Eckols) how to make them."

The actor does not cook by the book. "With paprikash, it's a little bit of this and a little bit of that. I learned how from my grandmother. I know exactly how much I have to put in my hand. I've never measured it out, however I can give you a more exact recipe for stuffed gabbage. A lot of people bake theirs but I simmer mine."

His version is simple. "I throw everything in a bowl: ground sirloin, pork, egg, rice, celery, a dash of oregano...," he said reeling off the recipe. "I season mine with hot paprika. I live near Yorktown (Manhattan's East Side) so I can get the hot paprika. You can use a milder version if you prefer."

The important step is preparing the cabbage. "I steam the whole cabbage and then devein the leaves with a sharp knife so I can fold them more easily. I don't have to tie or tootpick the rolls. They never come apart because the egg holds the filling together. I put extra cabbage leaves in the bottom of the pan so that they act as a rack. About 20 minutes before serving, I throw in some sour cream, heat it through until it's ready. Sometimes I serve it with boiled potatoes or rice."

"I've never done stuffed cabbage in a slow-cooker but I have prepared goulash. Basically you use about the same seasoning as you use in stuffed cabbage, different vegetables:" The Tylos have little time for entertaining these days. That morning, before boarding the plane to come to California to appear on The Price is Right, he auditioned for a Broadway show. The Young actor has had impressive training in theater. He attended Wayne State University in Michigan, earning a bachelor of fine arts degree in acting, then went on to earn a master's degree in theater. His subsequent theaterical traininf, however, has taken him further. He studied acting in Ireland with Sir Tyrone Guthrie and he has taken several classes in theatrical fencing at the National Theater of Hungary in Budapest.

Tylo has had his run-ins with autograph hounds. Two months after he landed the role, he ventured forth to the local market. "It was on Sunday. I was picking up a six-pack and some munchies to watch a football game. This woman came screaming down the aisle, 'What are you going to do with Nola's baby? Why are you trying to kill Alan Spaulding?' I turned to her saying, 'It's only a soap, I'm not trying to kill or hurt anyone."

"The she asked me for my autograph. She had a pen but no paper and gave me a box of Wheaties to sign. I signed with my own name, whereupon she said, 'Who's Michael Tylo? You're Quint McCord. Sign it like that.' I had to stop to think is my last name spelled with a small c or a big C. I ran the letters together. When I got home I told my wife, 'You will never believe this'. I even checked my script to see how McCord was spelled."



MICHAEL TYLO'S HUNGARIAN STUFFED CABBAGE

1 small head cabbage
boiling, salted water
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 small onion, peeled, chopped
1/4 cup chopped celery
1 egg, beaten
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 teaspoon oregano (more if desired)
1 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika (mild if desired)
salt, freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 can (8 ounces) tomato paste 1 container (8 ounces) dairy sour cream

Cut core from cabbage, place head in saucepan of boiling salted water and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Drain cabbage thoroughly and remove leaves, one by one, drain leaves in colander. Carefully cut away heavy veins from leaves with a sharp knife without cutting through leaves. With a fork, mix together beef, pork, onion, celery, egg, rice, oregano, paprika, salt and pepper to taste in a large mixing bowl until mixture is light. Place large tablespoon meat mixture on each cabbage leaf and fold ends lightly to enclose filling to make a neat package (rolls can be secured with small round wooden picks or tied with a cord, if necessary). Repeat until all the filling and most of the leaves are used up.

Next arrange leftover leaves in bottom of large saucepan. Arrange stuffed cabbage rolls, seam-side down, over cabbage leaves. Dilute tomato paste with about 1 1/2 cups water (more if necessary) so you have enough to cover bottom of saucepan. Pour diluted tomato paste mxcture over cabbage rolls to warm platter. Add sour cream to saucepan. Heat gently, stirring, but do not boil. Taste to correct seasonings. Spoon sour cream sauce over stuffed cabbage rolls. Serve alone or with hot boiled potatoes or additional rice.

There are dozens of ways to prepare stuffed cabbage. Michael's method is easy and delicious. If desired, season with your choice of herbs, minced parsley, dill or caraway seeds. Some cooks prefer to use sauerkrat in bottom of saucepan in lieu of cabbage leaves. Cabbage can easily be prepared in slow-cooker (add less liquid). Cabbage rolls can be reheated for leftovers in a very slow oven, or on top of the stove