A few days ago I was invited to attend a Degustacion at Dedet Santos' house ( the owner of Pepita's Kitchen ) in Magallanes Village together with a group of certified foodies and food bloggers. Dedet called earlier in the day and said --- " Please join us tonight at my house.. We are going to have a LECHON DEGUSTACION DINNER which I think will be one of the best dinners you will have this year--- Dinner time is at 7:00pm -- we will start on time !".... I asked what she was going to prepare... she told me she will be serving 4 LECHONS " Cuchinillo " with 4 different kinds of Lechon stuffing... yes, she was able to concoct a lot of versions of stuffings for the LECHON ( in fact she has at least 10 kinds of stuffings for her LECHON ) --- and a " FEW " more dishes... I took the word " FEW " at face value..I was in for a surprise!!! We had a total of 15 dishes to try out and I was surprised I was able to last till the end..
Since I was the first one to arrive, I was able to take some photos while Dedet explained the process of cooking her lechon...... Out in her patio stood 8 mini brick ovens where her lechons were being cooked. During my interview with Dedet -- she told me she had these mini ovens specially made for her lechons. The size of her pigs are usually 7 kilos ( which can feed at least 12 persons ) and 14 kilos ( which can serve 20 persons ). It takes 2 hours to cook one lechon.
In the photo below you would wonder why the ears are covered with foil.... Dedet explained that they would wrap the ears of the pig with foil because the ears cook faster.
Here was what we had:
For starters we had 2 kinds of Pate...
PINOY PATE which was our very own BALUT. It was very tasty. According to Dedet, she pureed the whole Balut and mixed it with olive oil and some spices. The texture was very smooth.
and PINOY CAVIAR - which was made of fish roe ( bihod ) combined with olive oil.
( before )
( after )
The Four Lechons we tried out were :
CHRISTMAS LECHON - The stuffing was made out of chestnuts, mushrooms, cashews and sticky rice.
PINOY LECHON - the stuffing was made out of binagoongan. Her other version of the PINOY LECHON ... the other stuffing is Sisig.
FRENCH LECHON - this was the best lechon stuffing I ever tasted!!!! The stuffing was made out of truffles, mushrooms and cashew nuts... She paired this dish with PINOY CARBONARA - which was pasta with carbonara sauce but instead of using grated cheese she used ground chicharon. what a combination!!!
In between these lechons we were given CALAMANSI SHERBET and SABACHARA ( it is young saba which she made into achara ).
and CHOLESTEROL SWEEPER - it is oatmeal cooked with chocolate just like champorado. I liked this dish...
Ileya, Dedet's daughter, prepared her famous DARNA'S SURPRISE which is the answer to Harry Potter's Butter Beer.
for dessert.... we had 2 kinds of homemade ice cream ( GUAVA FLAVORED ICE CREAM with guava bits )
ATIS FLAVORED ICE CREAM with atis bits.
CHOCNUT TRUFFLE CAKE
I agree with the consensus of the group.... it was the best dinner I had this year...Pepita's stuffed lechons are something to rave about!!! .The skin was so crunchy and the meat was so tender and flavorful!!!.. I am giving 10 stars for PEPITA'S KITCHEN... If you are planning on what to have this christmas season... why don't you try out PEPITA'S KITCHEN STUFFED LECHONS... Thank you Dedet for the lovely LECHON DEGUSTACION dinner at your home.
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