Steps in Preparation

Spice Up Your Valentines Day with Chef Allen Smith

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Come get ready to spice things up with your special Valentine as Chef Allen will demonstrate some new recipes to add a little heat to your special day. The menu includes smoked oysters with chive cream cheese on fancy crackers, roast pork tender with a fig salsa, oven roasted risotto, sea scallops with a celery root puree and a white chocolate cake with pineapple and toasted coconut.

Ingredients and Specialty Cookware Available at the SFSC Marketplace

  • Vanilla Bean Paste
  • Sea Salt
  • Olive Oil
  • Roasted Green Chile
  • Alligator Juniper Cutting Board
  • Obranovich Pottery - Place Setting
Shop the SFSC Marketplace

Other Ingredients

  • Olive oil
  • onion
  • arborio rice
  • garlic
  • white wine
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • chicken broth
  • unsalted butter
  • Parmesan Reggiano cheese
  • pork tender
  • safflower or canola oil
  • dates or figs or prunes
  • shallots
  • fresh orange juice
  • sea salt
  • cilantro
  • whole milk or half & half
  • celery root
  • potato
  • green onions
  • flat leaf parsley
  • heavy cream (optional)
  • sea scallops
  • safflower or grapeseed oil
  • flour (Wondra)
  • white truffle oil
  • parsley
  • Fancy crackers
  • whipped cream cheese
  • sour cream
  • scallions
  • smoked oysters
  • chives
  • eggs
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • coconut milk
  • coconut extract
  • pineapple juice
  • corn starch
  • crushed pineapple
  • Kirsch or vodka
  • powdered sugar
  • white chocolate

Oven Risotto - 4 generous servings

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely ground white pepper
  • 4 cups chicken broth, heated to and kept at a simmer
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan Reggiano
  1. Sauté the diced onion, slowly, in the olive oil until very soft; add the rice and sauté over a moderately low heat stirring occasionally until the grains become a little translucent.
  2. Add the white wine and bring to a simmer; cook until almost dry.
  3. Add 3 Cups of the stock; bring to a simmer. Cover and bake about 15 minutes. The liquid should be mostly absorbed, but the rice will be firm. Oven temperatures vary so it may take more cooking time on the stove. Heated to and kept at a simmer.
  4. Return the pot to the range and over a medium heat Add half of the reserved broth, stirring constantly until the rice is tender but still has a bite. More stock may be needed. When the rice is done, stir in the butter & the Parmesan. The rice should be creamy and pourable. Taste for seasoning

Left over risotto can be saved & frozen & used for fried rice balls.

Roasted Pork Tender with Date, Fig or Prune Salsa - Serves 2-4

Preheat oven to 450º

  • 1 pork tender (sizes vary, so it could be 1 1/2 to 2 pounds.)
  • 2 Tablespoons safflower or canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • Salt & white pepper
  • 1/2 cup white wine

For the Salsa:

  • 1 cup dates or figs, or prunes, cut into 4th’s
  • 2 Tablespoons, minced shallots
  • 1/4 cup, roasted, peeled & diced green chiles
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Season the pork tender generously with salt and white pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in an oven proof sauté pan. When the oil is hot, add the butter, and sear the pork tender on all sides. Don’t burn the butter.
  3. Place the sauté pan in the preheated oven and roast for about 20 minutes. An instant read thermometer will read about 140 degrees. The pork should be light pink inside. Don’t overcook.
  4. Carefully transfer to a cutting board, and tent with foil. Don’t forget the sauté pan handle is hot!!!
  5. Drain the fat from the pan and add the 1/2 cup white wine to the pan and heat to deglaze. Turn off the heat. Add the salsa.
  6. Meanwhile, slice the pork tender, and place onto warm plates. Top with the warmed date or fig salsa.

Sea Scallops with Celery Root Puree - 2 Servings

To increase the servings, simply increase the number of scallops

Celery Puree:

  • 1 cup whole milk or half & half, maybe a little more
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery root
    1/2 cup peeled & diced potato, all “eyes” & brown spots removed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 green onions, cleaned & finely sliced

† Optional Heavy cream (several Tablespoons)

Use caution when pureeing hot mixtures, as they expand with force and can cause serious burns.

  1. Cover the celery root & potato with the milk or half & half, and salt.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until the vegetables are completely tender. Strain, reserving the liquid.
  3. Place the cooked vegetables in a blender, add enough of the reserved milk or half & half just to cover. Also add the green onion and the parsley and puree until very smooth. If needed, add a little cream to smooth out.
  4. Taste for seasoning. Add salt if necessary.

This mixture can be done in advance and refrigerated. Reheat in a double boiler when needed.


  • 6-8 sea scallops (more if you have big appetites) remove the ligament if it is attached
  • 2-4 Tablespoons safflower or grapeseed oil
  • Flour for dusting. Wondra works best.
  • Sea salt & white pepper
  • 2-4 Tablespoons white truffle oil
  • Several parsley leaves or if available, small celery heart leaves
  1. Pat the scallops dry, season with sea salt& white pepper, then dust both sides lightly with flour
  2. In a non-stick pan, just large enough to hold the scallops, heat the oil until very hot then sear both sides of the scallops just until slightly golden.

To Serve:

  1. Place a dollop of the hot puree on warmed plates, then the sauteéd scallops on top of or on the side.
  2. Garnish with the parsley or celery leaves.
  3. Just before serving, drizzle with white truffle oil.

Smoked Oysters with Chive Cream Cheese on Fancy Crackers for Two

  • 6-8 Fancy Crackers (the availability ranges tremendously, so choose the most interesting)
  • 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sliced chives or sliced scallions
  • 1 can smoked oysters, drained
  • 2 Tablespoons sliced chives for garnish
  1. Combine the cream cheese, sour cream, salt and the 1 Tablespoon sliced chives or scallions.
  2. Place a dollop on each of the crackers.
  3. Top each with 1 or two or 3 of the smoked oysters.
  4. Place on a small serving plate, and sprinkle with the sliced chives or scallions.

A small dot of cream cheese will hold the crackers in place on the serving plate.

White Chocolate Cake with Pineapple and Toasted Coconut - 6-8 Servings

This is a make ahead cake, so the “Day of” is not spent in the kitchen!

For the Cake:

  • 8 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups flour, sifted
  • 2 Tablespoons baking powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract

If making a cake from scratch is not part of your ambition, use a white cake mix, but only use 1 layer. The other can be frozen for another occasion.

For the Pineapple Filling:

  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • 10 ounces crushed pineapple
  • 1 Tablespoon Kirsch or vodka


  • 1 pound unsalted Butter (room temperature)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 6 ounces white chocolate, chopped
  • 1-2 Tablespoons sour cream


  • 3 cups of toasted, shredded coconut