As we count down the days to Christmas, the one thing on every Filipino’s mind is crafting the perfect dinner table. The simple combination of family, friends, and a perfect spread are enough to make the season merry.
To complete your table, Dedet de la Fuente of Pepita’s Kitchen has a number of sumptuous dishes that will turn your dinner into a feast. Here are "The Lechon Diva’s” offerings for the season (and all-year round).
1. Truffle Lechon
This dish is what put Pepita’s Kitchen on the map. A divine pairing of two cuisines, de la Fuente brings together the Filipino feast staple with an unexpected French touch. Picture this: A crispy-skinned
2. Christmas Lechon
De la Fuente has added another
3. Spanish Manileña Lechon
Her third offering takes inspiration from the Spanish cuisine. Pepita’s classic
4. Boodle Feast
This feast was recently introduced by de la Fuente. She shares, “I thought of it because I had to think of a table set-up for some clients. They said, ‘Let’s level it up.’ I still wanted to make it Filipino, but make it more modern. I thought of the boodle! At
5. Balut Salpicao
De la Fuente takes the duck embryo and sautés it in olive oil and garlic. Rather than altering the flavor, this method of cooking surprisingly enhances the flavor.
A portmanteau of two Filipino terms, Hiplog is made of
7. Crab Gulong Gulong
This dish was a challenge for de la Fuente. She tried countless times to recreate a dish from a restaurant that had closed. “I failed. Every time, I failed,” she says. It was only when she decided to come up with her own version and sauce that she was fully satisfied with the recipe. As to the name, de la Fuente says “
8. Super Suman
“I was with a bunch of friends, and they were talking about food. Someone asked, ‘What’s your favorite dessert?’ and then someone said mango sticky rice of Thailand. Then they all said, ‘Me too!’ I said, ‘That’s so common,
9. Oxtail Kare-Kare
De la Fuente uses a rich and decadent peanut/cashew/peanut butter sauce to make the richest and thickest version of the perennial favorite. “It’s so soft, I make sure it is. The way that I make the sauce is very Filipino, but I added other ingredients to make it more special,” she says.
10. Mango Trifle
Another of de la Fuente’s most-requested desserts. She recounts, “I put together the biscuits of my childhood and used them to complete my Mango Trifle so my daughters will also learn to love
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