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When Manhattan chef Scott Conant makes Christmas dinner, the menu honors his mother's Italian backgroundbut also his father's New England heritage and his wife's Turkish roots. Oh, and there's a Dominican-inspired cake, too.
Potato Soup with Spicy Shrimp(left)
Influenced by his Turkish-American wife, Meltem, Scott Conant spices up his silky potato soup with Turkish red-pepper paste (biber salcasi), made from sweet and hot peppers. Look for the paste at Middle Eastern groceries, or use harissa instead.
Dulce de Leche Layer Cake
Scott Conant (along with his pastry chef Gerry Minos) lightens up on the sugar in the meringue and adds a nutty liqueur to the filling and frosting, giving it an Italian flavor. The cake is a knockout, with or without the liqueur, and stellar with either homemade or store-bought dulce de leche.