Ophelia's kale and kumara (or sweet potato

Finally I got around to making Ophelia’s beautiful pie!

I’m nearing my last month in New York for 2013… it’s can hardly bear to write it on the blog, it’s like setting my departure in concrete. Consequently I have crammed my life full of the New York food and experiences I won’t get back home over summer. There’s been so many eating spots to try before I go, so I haven’t been cooking much at all. I’ll make it up to you all with a list of my favorite New York eating spots, and a ton of recipes when I settle into my Mama’s beautiful kitchen over a long kiwi summer.

So… kale is a bit trendy these days, not just in Brooklyn, New York, but in New Zealand too. My mother recently asked me for some kale recipes since its popping up in all the grocery stores in Auckland! Ophelia picks her kale from the Devonport community garden. She collects a beautiful variety of kale to use in her pie. I got my kale from a roadside farmers market in Bushwick, and to make up for a lack of kumara in America, I also picked up sweet potato, baby beets, new season purple and white baby potatoes. Finding fresh red chili was an absolute score so I added that to the pie too.

Here is Ophelia’s recipe:

Oven at 180 degrees.

For the crust:

2 cups ground millet

2 cups ground almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp baking soda

4 tbsp butter

2 cold eggs

1 tbsp of cold water

For the filling:

1 red onion

10 stalks of kale (Ophelia used a mixture of curly kale, dino kale, redbor kale and red russian kale)

2 large kumaras diced (I used 1 sweet potato and 4 baby beets instead)

2 large potatoes diced (or 10 baby potatoes halved)

1/2 red chili

150g goats cheese

3 eggs

1 tbsp olive oil

Sea salt and pepper

For the crust combine the millet, almonds, coconut, chili, butter and sea salt in your blender. As it is blending add the baking soda, eggs and cold water and blend for a minute or until mixture is more or less bound (you can stop and help it by hand if need be). Scoop mixture into a seal lock bag, and place in the fridge for 1-2 hours.

Boil for kumara and potatoes (we want them just cooked, firm, not squishy and falling apart) with sea salt, set aside.

In a pan place onions with olive oil and sea salt- cook slowly until clear and then add the kale. Take off the heat after a few minutes- we still want the kale retain its colour and crunch.

In a flat round dish (mine has a 25cm diameter with a 4cm wall) press the cold crust mixture around the base and wall of the dish. Now add half of the kale and onions and then place the kumara and potatoes (I like to place them alternatively k,p,k,p,k around the edge and then make smaller circle as you go in). Break off the goats feta and pop it in-between the root veggie and then use the rest of the kale and onions on top to fill the gaps.

Whisk the eggs and use these too to fill any gaps.

Pop in the oven for 40mins or until the golden, you’ll know when it’s done x


Eggplant and ricottaI’ve discovered this wonderful new thing, roadside farmers markets. They are all around my neighborhood at the moment. All the produce is cheap as hell and gorgeous, especially the root vegetables (baby potato and baby beet addiction). It’s easy to get inspired and I’ll have a dish pop into my head after perusing the stands for a few minutes. I spotted fresh figs and eggplants and I immediately went home to make this.

Serves 4 as a starter.

Oven at 220 degrees celsius.


2 Large eggplants, halved and scored across the flesh in a diagonal criss-cross

1/2 cup olive oil

8 figs, quartered

8 tablespoons of ricotta

rind of 2 lemons

2 tsp leaves + 4 sprigs of lemon thyme

6 tbsp balsamic vinegar

40g sugar

Place the eggplants on a baking sheet, flesh side up. Massage olive oil into the flesh until all the oil has been absorbed by the eggplants. Sprinkle with lemon thyme leaves and a very generous amount of salt and pepper, eggplant is so mild in flavour it is hard to be heavy handed on the seasoning. Bake for about 30 minutes, until flesh is soft and browned. Don’t ignore any spongey bits! Undercooked eggplant is the worst. Remove from oven and cool.

Carefully mix together ricotta and lemon rind, set aside in fridge until you are ready to use it.

In a pan combine balsamic vinegar and sugar. Bring to the boil then decrease the heat and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, until it thickens but is still pourable. It will thicken more as it cools, add a drop of water if it is no longer pourable.

To assemble, place at half an eggplant flesh side up on a plate. Top with 2 tablespoons of the ricotta lemon mix and then a handful of the figs, drizzle over the balsamic reduction. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with a sprig of lemon thyme, serve immediately.

P.s. if you have Instagram you can follow me @emmainthesauce. I often post photos of my dishes before the illustrations and recipes go up on the blog.


Emma xx

Mango tartWell, it’s a fresh mango pie with a toasted coconut crust and lime mascarpone, drizzled with saffron syrup.

I thought I better change up the way I consumed mangos, so I came up with this pie. I can’t be modest right now, it was incredible. Maybe because I’m obsessed with all the ingredients involved, or maybe because it looked beautiful (that yellow/orange, red and green combo, oh yeah). It was one of those rare times when I didn’t think ‘ohh it’s yummy but I would definitely go more ______ when I make it again’.

You could definitely play around with this recipe. I love the honey-like saffron infusion, but using fresh red chili to make a syrup would also be wonderful. Flaky pastry would be good too for a ‘lighter’ option, if you knew of a good pre-made flaky pastry you could make this tart in 10 minutes. I’m a big fan of making my own pastry though, and just quietly, Little and Friday (where I used to work with some of my favourite people in the world, including my little brother ❤ )  pastry recipes are my absolute go to.

mango, lime and saffron

As always the quality of the key ingredient (mango) is essential! If you can’t find good mangos, don’t make this pie. They need to be ripe and flavorsome. Depending on the variety/sweetness of the mango you end up with, I would add or leave out the confectioners sugar in the mascarpone mix. Obviously, if the mango is super sweet and juicy, eliminate most of the sugar in the mascarpone mix.

For the pie crust:

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius

1/2 cup flaked coconut

3/4 plain flour

7 tbsp chilled butter, chopped into small chunks

1/3 cup confectioners sugar

pinch of salt

Toast coconut in one layer on a pie dish in the oven, for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden. Set aside to cool.

Once the coconut is room temperature (it won’t take long to get there) pulse together flour, coconut, butter, confectioners sugar, and salt in a food processor until dough just begins to form a ball. Press dough onto bottom and up sides of a greased pie dish with floured fingers, then freeze until firm. Bake on a baking sheet in middle of oven until golden, about 25 minutes, then cool completely in the pie dish on a rack.

For the rest:

1 large or 2 small, ripe juicy mangos. To prepare them, cut off each end and sit facing upwards, entirely peel and then cut away from the stone as close to it as possible. Slice each side into really, really thin slices. They need to be flexible as to arrange them you will be bending them into S’s!

250g mascarpone

150ml pouring cream

1 lime, rinded and juiced

1 tbsp confectioners sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 cup water

a generous pinch of saffron threads

Beat together mascarpone, pouring cream, lime rind, lime juice and confectioners sugar until thick and silky. Keep in fridge till your ready to use it.

In a saucepan combine granulated sugar, water and saffron. Bring to the boil gently, stirring till sugar is dissolved. Turn the heat down and simmer gently until you have a saffron-infused syrup, thick but not so thick as to turn it to toffee (beware it can happen very quickly). Set aside.

To assemble:

Spread the coconut crust with the lime-mascarpone. Create S shapes with the mangos and position the S’s sideways on the mascarpone filling, so you are looking down as lots of mango S’s. Cover the filling until all the mango is on the pie. Finally, drizzle the pie with the saffron syrup. It is easiest to serve after a half an hour stint in the fridge post-assembly, but if you can’t wait, just enjoy the delicious crumbly mess!

Purple green

My gorgeous friend, fellow artist AND cook Ophelia, and I are teaming up for a few collaborative blog posts. Ophelia, who cooks like an angel and collects a lot of her organic ingredients from the community garden in Devonport, is going to send me some of her recipes to make, illustrate and eat, obviously (yum). Our first post will be coming soon! Kale and kumara (that’s a sweet potato-like root vegetable for you non-kiwis) pie with homemade millet and coconut chili crust. The illustration above is Osy’s purple-green bounty straight of garden and ready for the pie.

E xx

flourless chocolate cake

I used to work at a beautiful boutique winery and restaurant on Waiheke, called The Shed. At the time, the little kitchen was run by Peter Becker, and this is the chocolate cake we would serve.

Late at night, after too much Te Motu cabernet/merlot, my bestie Jess and I would sneak into the kitchen and eat this cake with Kapiti Vanilla bean ice cream and fresh berry coulis. It was heaven. Using good quality chocolate is key, the cake is only as good as the chocolate that makes it. Think Valrhona or Callebaut.

I whipped mascarpone and fresh cream together to make an especially thick, creamy topping but it is just as good served with vanilla ice cream. Fresh raspberries or berry coulis is a must, the tart berries are the perfect companion.

Flourless Chocolate Cake:

preheat oven to 160 degrees celsius

225g butter, cubed

455g very good quality dark chocolate, coarsely chopped

1/4 cup espresso coffee

8 eggs

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

pinch of flakey salt (I like the way you occasionally get a little burst of salt when you use flakey salt)

To serve:


250 g mascarpone

150ml heavy cream

Whip cream and mascarpone together till thick and silky.
Grease a 9-inch springform pan and line bottom with a parchment round. Baking this cake in a water bath keeps it moist and fudgey, to prepare the water bath cover pan underneath and along sides with foil and set in a roasting pan. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil.

Combine the chocolate, butter, and coffee in a metal bowl set over simmering water or in the top of a double boiler. Melt the mixture, stirring constantly, until smooth and creamy, about 5 minute; set aside

Meanwhile combine eggs, sugar, vanilla in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer (or by hand if you’re like me and don’t have a single electric kitchen utensil in your tiny kitchen) until frothy and almost doubled in volume, about 5 to 10 minutes. Fold 1/3 of egg mixture into chocolate mixture using a rubber spatula. Repeat this process 2 more times – until all of egg mixture has been folded into chocolate mixture, folding in the salt at the same time.

Pour batter into spring-form pan and place in the roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into the roasting pan to come about halfway up the sides. Bake until cake has risen slightly and edges are just beginning to set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove cake from roasting pan and cool on wire rack for 4 hours.

If you can wait to eat it, refrigerate over night but hey, I’m not judging you.

Bloody Sunday

I looove Bloody Mary’s. I’m always loose with my ingredients…. I experiment with sauces, it seems as long as they are salty, sour or spicy they go down a treat. You could try an asian influence, soy sauce has been a good addition at times, try it with wasabi and grated ginger. Don’t hold back on the amount of Vodka! 1 part vodka to 2 parts tomato juice is a good ratio.


Emma’s Bloody Mary


tomato juice

a dash of each of the following:

balsamic vinegar

worchestershire sauce

hot sauce

a squeeze of lime juice,

a pinch of cayenne pepper

1/3 tsp ground cumin

cracked pepper

a stick of cucumber, a slice of lime, an olive and a sprig of cilantro to garnish

Put everything, bar the garnishes and the cracked pepper, over LOTS of ice. Top with the cucumber, lime, olive, cilantro and freshly cracked pepper.

Fennel and other obsessions.

Welcome to The Sauce, an illustrated documentation of my kitchen endeavours from New Zealand to New York. Love, Emma