Scott Conant's Global Christmas Dinner
Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta
Scott Conant serves these tender, peppery breadsticks as a starter. He packs them into a tall glass or plates them with small wedges of La Tur cheese (a dense, buttery Piedmont cheese made from a blend of cow, sheep and goat milk), drizzled with aged balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with flaky sea salt.
Potato Soup with Spicy Shrimp
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.
Slow-Roasted Pork Loin with Molasses and Balsamic Glaze
Scott Conant says this recipe is a perfect reflection of his heritage: The molasses harks back to his father’s New England background, and the balsamic vinegar is a tribute to his mother’s Italian roots. The marinade is a syrupy glaze that Conant slathers over the pork so it can soak up the flavor before roasting.
Bibb Lettuce with Warm Vegetable Vinaigrette
The fun idea here is to make vegetables part of the dressing. Scott Conant sautés strips and cubes of parsnip, carrot, squash and celery root with thyme, vinegar and oil, then uses them to dress Bibb lettuce.
Börek is a Middle Eastern pastry filled with anything from vegetables to cheese and ground meat. For this version, Meltem Conant sautés eggplant, peppers and tomatoes and bakes them in layers of phyllo. It's a great option for a vegetarian main course.
Gingered Green Beans
Scott Conant makes his crisp-tender beans with ground ginger, since freshly grated ginger invariably creates unappealing little chunks.
Dulce de Leche Layer Cake
The version of Dominican cake that Scott Conant’s friends introduced him to was a white cake layered with dulce de leche filling and frosted with a very sweet meringue. In his adaptation, 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.