I've mentioned in the past how my family gets down on Thanksgiving--my grandmother orders a lechon in addition to cooking a turkey for the big day. This year, however, things were a little different--my grandmother decided to not cook a turkey (gasp!). But in all honesty though, not a person in my family cared about the absense of said gobbler. After all, a whole-roasted pig is all a Filipino family needs, isn't it? Isn't it!? (The answer is YES!).
I was also lucky enough to be at my grandma's right when the Lechon Dude dropped off the pig. I had the honor of helping my grandfather take the roasted pig from the back of the Lechon Dude's pickup truck and into the house. The pig was still hot, and I could immediately tell that it was stuffed with lemongrass as I could smell the citrus-scented steam wafting from the pig's backside--the best a pig's ass will ever smell I'm sure.
And besides the roast pig, my grandmother and her two sisters (AKA "The Aunties") cooked up a Filipino feast that would make Manny Pacquiao weak in the knees (like SWV). So, I figured I'd share a few pictures of all the Filipino goodness with which I stuffed my face on this wonderful Thanksgiving. By the way, all the pictures in this post are courtesy of my little brother, AKA Jean-Luc Monstroso (kind of not his real name), who happens to have one of them snazzy cameras that come with a shoulder strap. Enjoy.
The BEST part of any Lechon: The Cheeks
A quick aside: I absolutely love eating the cheeks off of a whole-roasted pig. I know many (ok, a few) Pinoys like to save the cheeks/jowls for leftovers and make Lechon Sisig, but I think the cheeks are best when the skin is still crisp. I don't care what anybody says, the cheeks are the BEST part of a lechon. The meat sits right there on the jaw bone (bone=flavor), and there's plenty of fat in the cheeks (fat=flavor), and the crispy skin tops it all off. And if you cut the cheek off just right, you can have a juicy piece of pork on it's own edible crispy plate of skin. Mmmmm, it's like heaven in pig form. And yes, I ate both cheeks myself. I EAT PIG FACE! End of quick aside.
My Dad getting real familiar with a pig's foot and a Bud Light. A classy bunch we are.
For Tagalogs: Dinaguan
For us Ilocanos: Dinardaraan
For the Unknowing: "Chocolate Meat"
The bestest pinakbet in the universe.
Adobong Sili (recipe coming soon!)
Giant Leche Flan
Also enjoyed for Thanksgiving 2010, but not pictured:
- Pancit Miki
- Lumpiang Shanghai
- Brazo de Mercedez (two arms!)
- My dad passed out on couch due to pig/bud light coma