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Palos Verdes Stew

A "dieters" version from the Weight-Watching chapter of the Good Housekeeping Cookbook, 1963.

Palos Verdes Stew

(recipe and instructions are written as found in cookbook)

(210 calories per serving)

1 tablesp. butter or margarine
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup chopped celery
3 cups quartered, then thinly sliced, pared white potatoes
1 cup water
1 1/2 teasp. whole oregano
1 1/2 teasp. salt
1 1-pt. - 3-oz. can tomato juice
1 6 1/2 or 7-oz. can water or broth packed tuna, flaked
Dry packaged instant mashed potatoes (optional)

In butter or margarine, in large skillet with tight cover, saute onion and celery until onion is light brown; add potatoes, water, oregano, and salt; cover tightly, then simmer 10 min., or until potatoes are almost tender.  Add tomato juice and tuna; simmer 10 min.; then stir in 1 to 3 tablesp. dry instant mashed potatoes for a bit of thickening, if desired.  Serve in soup bowls.  Makes 4 servings.

See more pictures, my thoughts, and a how-to video here:


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 29th, 2014 12:25 am (UTC)
After reading your comments, you seem to have answered my question of, "Who would have thought to pair potatoes & tuna?" I assume a lighter fish, like tilapia or cod would better fit the bill (these would of course increase the prep time). If I'm mistaken, I'd love to hear what other fish you think would better complement this dish.

Thanks for posting!

Edit: It occurs to me that the choice of tuna, besides its ubiquity, might have been for its low calorie count, especially during the era in which the recipe was printed.

Edited at 2014-03-29 12:26 am (UTC)
Mar. 29th, 2014 01:05 am (UTC)
You are totally right on everything! I really do think that canned tuna was used because it was easy to find, cheap, and a low calorie count (and not too exotic).

As for the type of fish I would use? White fish, for sure. Cut it into bite size pieces and throw it in the dish when it calls for the tuna. Scallops would even taste really well here. The potatoes and sauce are so delicate that I really think only a light fish would work. I'm sure there are more adventurous eaters out there that might like a stronger, fattier fish with this, but I think it might be too strong.
Mar. 29th, 2014 01:46 am (UTC)
I can totally see scallops & potatoes going together quite nicely! (Unfortunately, for my budget at least, even sea scallops are beyond my reach unless on sale.) To be fair, I could see this recipe doing very well with halibut & potatoes, but that's too much to say, yes? :) Oh, to afford halibut on a regular basis.

Nice to know that the sauce is so delicate, though. I would not have intuited that from the recipe. I appreciate that you were willing to be such a pioneer. :)
Mar. 29th, 2014 03:07 am (UTC)
Ha! Thank you! I dunno if I am pioneering through this or just being silly. :)

To afford scallops and halibut with this would be divine! I will probably just try tilapia. Cheap, and will get the job done.

To be honest when I first put in the oregano and all the minced onion it smelled - really strong. After the tomato juice and the potatoes, though, it mellowed out nicely.
Apr. 2nd, 2014 01:57 pm (UTC)
Tuna with potatoes is actually very common in a salade niçoise! Perhaps not traditional, but it's frequently done.

Edited at 2014-04-02 02:00 pm (UTC)
Apr. 2nd, 2014 03:30 pm (UTC)
Excellent point! I wonder why I didn't like this? Perhaps it needs bigger chunks of tuna instead of flaked tuna that you can't really....well, chew.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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