The social event of the season was held last night at the historic Lyceum on Parris Island – Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Valentine Ball! Since 1990, the Beaufort Memorial Hospital’s Foundation has held it’s signature fundraiser to expand and improve the hospital’s facilities and services.  Close to 800 guests attend the ball each year.  The $150 per person ticket price includes an invitation to a private dinner party and the black-tie gala – a festive affair with live music, dancing, dessert and a silent auction.

Planning and putting on the Valentine Ball takes hundreds of community volunteers. Over 50 Beaufortonians host or co-host the pre-ball dinners.  What sets the event apart from other charity functions is that the pre-ball dinners are held in some of the area’s finest residences. Between six to twelve couples are invited to each party, making it an intimate setting to meet new people.  The hosts choose the menus for their dinners and pick up the tab for all the food and beverages.

Every February I have the honor of catering one of the Valentine Ball dinner parties. Dinner party hosts pull out their finest china and silver and my staff and I serve an elegant gourmet meal. Last night twenty-eight dinner guests gathered at the Keyserling Penthouse on Ribaut Island for cocktails and a three-course dinner. Alice Moss, BMH Foundation Executive Director was one of the co-hosts.

I hope you enjoy some of the recipes from our gala evening and consider hosting a dinner party to support Beaufort Memorial Hospital for the Valentine Ball in 2014. Enjoy!

For more information about Beaufort Memorial Hospital or next year’s Valentine Ball visit

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops
 Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Mascarpone Crouton
 Mesclun Salad with Fresh Fruit and Red Wine Vinaigrette
 Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Goat Cheese, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes Hasselback Potatoes
 Asparagus Spears with Olive Tappenade

Bacon-Wrapped Scallops with Lowcountry Cocktail Sauce
Delicious and easy! I’ve always been a fan of scallops wrapped in bacon.
½ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
12 slices bacon
24 sea scallops
Freshly ground black pepper
Combine ketchup, horseradish and Worcestershire sauce in a small bowl; set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bacon in half to make 24 pieces. Wrap each scallop in a piece of bacon. Place wrapped scallops on a lightly greased baking sheet. Sprinkle with black pepper; to taste. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until scallops are cooked through. Serve hot with cocktail sauce on the side.  Serves 4 to 6.

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Mascarpone Crouton
Mascarpone cheese is an Italian double cream cheese made from cow’s milk. It’s buttery-rich, soft and delicate and is the texture of clotted cream.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
6 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 (12-ounce) jars roasted red bell peppers preserved in water, drained
1 medium red potato, peeled and coarsely chopped
½ cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon sugar
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup mascarpone cheese
Croutons, to garnish
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a heavy, large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, garlic and thyme and saute until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the broth, bell peppers, potato, wine and sugar. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. Cool the soup slightly.  Process the soup in batches in a food processor or blender. Return the soup to pot; warm through and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Ladle the soup into bowls. Dollop a tablespoon of mascarpone in the center of each bowl and top with croutons. Sprinkle with black pepper and serve. Serves 8.

Red Wine Vinaigrette
Quick and simple to prepare!
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
Whisk oil, vinegar, honey, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside until ready to use.  Refrigerate any leftover vinaigrette.

Pork Tenderloin stuffed with Goat Cheese, Spinach and Sun-dried Tomatoes
Present the sliced tenderloins on a bed of fresh spinach topped with a few roasted or sauteed grape tomatoes.
2 (12-ounce) pork tenderloins
8 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
2 cups loosely packed spinach
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
½ cup all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
Trim the tenderloins of any fat. To butterfly each tenderloin for stuffing, lay it flat on a cutting board, cut through the long side of the tenderloin, stopping when you are about ½ inch from cutting through it. Open the tenderloin and make another parallel cut on each side of the open tenderloin stopping about ½ inch from cutting through. Open the butterflied tenderloin and pound it until it is ½ inch thick. Spread ½ of the goat cheese evenly over the meat. Arrange the 1 cup spinach and ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes on top of the goat cheese. Fold in the ends of the tenderloin and roll to cover the filling. Tie with butcher’s twine. Repeat with the second tenderloin. In a shallow dish, season flour with salt and pepper.  Dredge stuffed tenderloins in seasoned flour, shaking off any excess. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat vegetable oil in a heavy oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat and brown the pork on all sides. End with the open sides up. Transfer skillet to preheated oven and cook for 20 to 25 minutes, until completely cooked through. Transfer pork to a large platter and set aside to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 8.