By Ethel and Georgeanne Brennan

(The following information is provided by Chronicle Books)


Originally coveted primarily for their beauty, and intricately woven into the cultural and religious traditions of their eastern homelands, citrus fruits are now revered and enjoyed around the world for their lively and delicious taste. Refreshing and appealing at any time of the year, citrus fruits add flavor and fragrance to sauces and starters, soups and salads, entrees, and, of course, desserts. Complete with bright, whimsical illustrations, Citrus, by Ethel and Georgeanne Brennan, celebrates the flavorful appeal of citrus fruits with more than 30 easy-to-follow and taste-tempting recipes (using oranges, mandarins, grapefruits, pomelos, kumquats, lemons, and limes).

From a lively citrus salsa and a flavorful salad of warm grapefruit and baby spinach to a mouth-watering main dish of pork brochettes marinated in orange sauce and an elegant custard tart of strawberries and oranges, the piquant taste and heady aroma of citrus comes to life in this engaging collection. Invaluable advice on how to make the most of citrus fruits in cooking, as well as lively descriptions of the origins and uses of each fruit make this an inspiring volume for cooks who want simple, innovative recipes with a delightful and refreshing twist.

Ethel and Georgeanne Brennan are also the authors of Sun-Dried Tomatoes. Ethel Brennan is a California-based freelance writer whose work has appeared in such publications as Bay Food and Metropolitan Home. Georgeanne Brennan is the author of numerous books on cooking and gardening, including Potager, The Glass Pantry, Beautiful Bulbs, Little Herb Gardens, Fragrant Flowers, Easy Roses, The Vegetarian Table: France and Les Immortelles. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including the San Francisco Chronicle, Bon Appetit, and Metropolitan Home. She divides her time between Northern California and Provence, France.


Spicy Soup
of Mandarin and Coconut


A surprising hint of mandarin finds its way through the spicy, rich flavors of this Southeast Asian coconut soup. Experiment with adding other ingredients, such as shrimp or fresh artichoke hearts. Coconut milk, fish sauce, chili paste, and wood ears can be found in the international food section of grocery stores or in Asian markets.

  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup strained fresh mandarin juice (about 2-1/2 mandarins)
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated mandarin zest (about 2 mandarins
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Thai chili paste
  • 2 fresh Thai chili peppers, stemmed and seeded (serrano chilies will also work)
  • 2 cups quartered fresh button mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped wood ears (fresh or reconstituted)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a saucepan, bring the water to a full boil. Add the rice and boil for 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until tender and the water is absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the coconut milk, chicken stock, mandarin juice and zest, fish sauce, chili paste, and chili peppers. Bring to a full boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about 5 minutes. The stock will be slightly foamy and will have turned a golden-orange color. Add the button mushrooms and wood ears, and cook until the button mushrooms are tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes, but no more than 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, divide the rice among 6 individual bowls and spoon the soup over the top. Serve immediately.

Serve 6


Citrus Salad


This simple salsa is amazingly light and fresh. Sweet orange combined with sharp lemon strikes a perfect balance, with neither flavor dominating. Mix this salsa with creme fraiche and spoon the filling into warm crepes, or serve alongside a chilled ceviche salad.

  • 1 sweet orange
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Using a sharp paring knife, peel the zest from the orange and lemons, leaving the white inner rind intact on the fruit. Cut half of the zest into very thin slices, about 1/16 inch wide. Discard the remaining zest or set it aside for another use.

Cut the peeled orange and lemons, with their inner rind intact, into quarters lengthwise. Put the fruit and the pine nuts in a food processor or a blender and process to chop coarsely. Transfer the fruit-nut mixture to a small saucepan and stir in the rosemary, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring until the salsa is hot, 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove from the heat, stir in the sliced zest, and let cool to room temperature. Spoon into a glass jar, cover tightly, and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Makes about 1/2 pint.


Recipes from:
By Ethel and Georgeanne Brennan
Illustrations by Ann Field
Publication Date: March 21, 1996
Chronicle Books
Price: $12.95 (hardcover)
ISBN #: 0-8118-0602-2
(Reprinted with permission.)

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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