Indonesian Supper Club at Anvil Cottage

Indonesian Supper Club at Anvil Cottage

Has anyone come across “WeFiFo” yet? It stands for “We Find Food”. It’s an online business that promotes all sorts of foody events online—particularly pop-up restaurants and supper clubs.

I think it’s a brilliant idea, and really hope it takes off, especially for events outside London. I’ve just signed up to join them, and I’m holding my first WeFiFo event at home on Saturday, 12 May. This is from the WeFiFo page about it:

Come and join me for a delicious multi-course feast from the heart of Indonesian food, the island of Java, where I was born and learned to cook.

I’ve been cooking for private parties for quite a few years. From time to time I arrange a supper party at my house in Hampshire. This is my first through WeFiFo!



A little something to say hello

(or ginger ale instead of prosecco for those who would prefer a non-alcoholic version)

Some small bites to get your taste-buds on tiptoe

Crisp, thin slices of tempeh (soya bean cake) fried in a light spicy chickpea flour batter, served with a sweet soya dipping sauce

Chicken wings with chilli jam (If you like Nando’s…)

Sweet potato beignet stuffed with savoury crumbled beef

Cracker made from crushed melinjo (a large Indonesian seed), topped with a chayote, cucumber, and peanut sauce

Onto more substantial dishes

Stir-fried minced chicken with pea aubergines, topped with crispy vermicelli

Barbecued lamb in coconut milk curry

Pomelo, young mango, mint, lemon grass, shallots, and chilli salad

Simple: chilli sambal, made with tempeh. And lots of basil

Royal fragrant basmati rice, with almond flakes

Prawn crackers

And since the Javanese have a sweet tooth, something to finish with

Avocado and chocolate mousse

Torched black glutinous rice pudding with young coconut slithers


I’d love to see some familiar faces there, so of course all my friends and existing customers are more than welcome. Even those of you familiar with my cooking will find a lot of new dishes to enjoy.

Here’s the link to the page featuring the event on the WeFiFo website:

If you would like to book, please do it through this page, since WeFiFo manage all the bookings and payments. There are only 16 places available, so book now to avoid disappointment.

I hope to see you!

News: Cooking with tempeh demonstrations, 26 March

News: Cooking with tempeh demonstrations, 26 March

As advertised in my previous blog, I am holding tempeh cooking demos at the end of the month. Please let me know as soon as possible if you’d like to come.

There is a slight change to the previous announcement. I’m still giving two demos, but because some people can’t make the daytime they will both now be on the Monday, the 26th of March: the first for lunch, starting at 1030, the other dinner, at 1830.

I will be showing you how to prepare three dishes, each using tempeh. If you’d like to remind yourself what a super-food tempeh is, take a look at my earlier post. After the demonstration we will be eating the dishes I’ve been showing you how to cook, with a nice glass of wine.

If you have been to one of my cooking demos before you’ll know that they are cosy and very informal. But quite informative I hope! Numbers are limited, so please contact me soon, to avoid disappointment. Send me a message via the contact form, or if you know my other contact details, call me, text me, or message me. Just let me know your preferred session and I will confirm with details.

Chayote: another healthy food

Chayote: another healthy food

Stop Press. Tempeh cooking demos Monday, 26 March. Morning and evening.

I mentioned in my last blog that I was planning to hold a session. These are the dates I’ve decided on. Book now! Space is limited. Send me a message via the contact form, or if you know my other contact details, call me, text me, or message me. Just let me know your preferred day and I will confirm with details. 

I keep coming across a vegetable called chayote in Latin American recipes.

It’s also used in Cajun cuisine (they call it mirliton), and by a huge variety of different names throughout south and east Asia. In Malaysia it’s called, weirdly, ‘English gourd’; in Indonesia we call it labu siam, which means ‘Thai squash’. Whatever it’s called, I love it!

Chayote (pronounced chay-o-tee) is a member of the gourd family, so related to squash and pumpkins, melons and cucumbers. Its flesh looks a bit cucumbery, but firmer—and you normally cook it. It has a very delicate—some might say nondescript—slightly sweet flavour, and a beautiful soft but crispy mouthfeel, which makes it ideal for adding to a stir-fry or a soup or stew.

And here’s the big thing about chayote: it’s packed with folate (vitamin B9), and contains zero cholesterol and saturated fats. It also has useful amounts of vitamin C, other B-complex vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, and fibre. Quite a nutritional powerhouse!

You can find chayote in most Asian supermarkets in the UK—see ‘Where to find ingredients’ in my blog on Sambal.

labu siam 180223-009

The photos show a very simple one-pan Indonesian dish that I put together in about 20 minutes (most of which is prepping the ingredients). In the first picture, above, clockwise from top-left: chayote, coconut milk, dried shrimp, tempeh, shallots and garlic, galangal, dried salam leaf (bay leaf can be substituted), tomato, and of course red chillies.

labu siam 180223-014

Basically, chop everything up, and soak the dried shrimp.

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In a large frying pan (ideally a wok) gently fry the tempeh in vegetable oil to soften it, then add all the other ingredients except the chayote, tomato, and coconut milk. After a few minutes add the chayote and carry on frying until it’s soft (about another five minutes). Finally add the coconut milk and tomato, and salt and pepper (don’t be stingy) for the last couple of minutes. Serve with rice. If you’d like a more detailed recipe do let me know. I’ll be happy to let you have one.

Enjoy! And think of all the goodness.

labu siam 180223-021

2017: another year of fun and food!

2017: another year of fun and food!

I’ve just been looking back fondly at the jobs we’ve done in the last year. They included 21st, 40th, 60th, and 90th birthday parties; dinner parties for five to 20 people; Christmas parties, private and corporate, and one in January to dispel winter blues; house warmings, quiz nights, and school parents’ evenings; and a buffet lunch followed the same day by dinner at a school, for a total of 384 guests! Altogether I reckon I’ve catered for close to 1000 people.

Here are a few photos of me and some of my team in action—and some of the dishes we served up.

And some of the responses from happy customers:

Thank you so much indeed for such fabulous food!  The party was brilliant and Chris and I enjoyed every second of it!  My phone & email has not stopped and everyone had such a fab time.  Thank you for simply coming in and taking over—I had no worries at all about anything and everyone has raved about the food.  A couple of people have left messages saying it was the best party food they’ve ever eaten!

Liza, Haslemere

I can’t thank you and Caroline enough for your gorgeous food last night—everyone thought it was really, really delicious.

Katie, Abinger Hammer

We were so pleased. You did a fabulous job thank you,  and we had lots of compliments about the food. I will definitely be in touch again.

Kim, Witley

It was lovely to be back in touch with you and enjoy your lovely food. You were such a great help and fitted in so well at our dinner party, everything was presented so beautifully and tasted delicious.

Antonia, Haslemere

Thank you so much for last night – nothing but praise for your food.

Jocelyn, Fernhurst

People continually tell us how much they loved your food. I think it was great and worked really well being served in those disposable dishes. I thought your staff were fantastic and did a great job. Many thanks for all that you did to make the party so successful.

Tim, Hewshott

We just want to say a huge thank you to all of you for helping to make Saturday’s reunion such a successful occasion. There is no way this would have gone so well without your attention to detail and can do-ness.

Susie & Lydia, Liphook

Thank you Ina, we had a lovely evening, your food was delicious, and you and Caroline looked after us very well. I will definitely use your services again, and recommend you to others.

Helen, Chiddingfold

Thank you so much for last night.   The food was fantastic and everyone commented on how good it was!   I am sure you will get many new inquiries for future events as a result!

Jane, Haslemere

My first job of 2018 is next week—just a little dinner party. Can’t wait to get back into the swing!

A very Happy New Year to all my customers and friends.

My latest job: our own party!

My latest job: our own party!

Every few years Kevan gets together with his old Churcher’s College school friends. For some reason or other it tends to be at our house! I guess we are the geographic centre of gravity. And anyway I love the chance to cook for myself for a change.

With a few extra family members we were 20 people this time. We have been so lucky with the weather on previous occasions, but this year the party was a bit later in the year, to coincide with a visit by the Australian branch of the Old Churcherians, and sadly we weren’t blessed with sunshine. But everyone spent most the afternoon eating so they didn’t really notice! At least it didn’t rain, and we managed to keep the dining room doors open all afternoon.

Here’s what I served:

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Lamb kofte with jalapeño mayo dip

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Duck & vegetarian spring rolls with sweet chilli sauce
Fish cakes with sweet chilli sauce

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Chicken meat balls with tamarind dip

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Croustades with quails eggs in Mary Rose dressing

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Dates with goats cheese, pistachio & pomegranates

Plate food
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Smoked mackerel salad with heritage beetroot,
fennel & croutons

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Camargue red rice salad with almond flakes

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Barbecued pulled lamb with Asian-style green sauce

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Persian sausage rolls

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Carrot & parsnip fritters

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Grilled peppers with anchovy, garlic & caper berries

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Summer pudding

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Brownies with white & dark chocolate nibs