Family Meal

by Chef David Ferguson




Filtering by Tag: seafood recipes

Red Pepper Marinated Marinated Shrimp, Charred Heirloom Cherry Tomatoes, Radish, Red Onion, & Avocado Cream

Prep Time: 20 mins.    Cook Time:  30 mins.    Serves:  2

This recipe is a great light appetizer for your next outdoor get together.  The light heat from the crushed red pepper on the shrimp is balanced out by the refreshing flavors in the avocado cream.  The char on the tomatoes also gives them a nice smoky flavor that lends some depth.

When purchasing your shrimp at the store for this recipe remember; size matters.  Shrimp are sold by the pound, and are labeled by an approximation of how many shrimp (shell included) are in that pound.  16/20 shrimp for example (the kind called for in this recipe) contain between 16-20 shrimp per pound.  You can of course get larger shrimp should you desire, but smaller wouldn’t lend themselves well to this application.

Marinate the shrimp in garlic, crushed red pepper, basil, and olive oil for at least 30 minutes before sauteing, this will ensure they have absorbed enough flavor.  For the avocado cream, make sure to select ripe avocados that are still a nice bright green.  Under ripe avocados can be placed in a paper bag on the counter to speed the ripening a little.  



  • 8 raw 16/20 shrimp; shelled and cleaned
  • ½ cup heirloom cherry tomatoes; halved
  • 2 radish; shaved
  • ⅓ cup red onion; shaved
  • 2 tbsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 clove garlic; finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp basil; finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Avocado Cream

  • 2 ripe avocados; pitted, peeled
  • ½  cup sour cream
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp basil; finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper to taste


Place a large saute pan over medium heat and add marinated shrimp.  Cook the shrimp, tossing occasionally, until the shrimp are bright red and cooked through (approx. 10 mins).  Place shrimp on a paper towel lined plate and reserve.

Process avocados, sour cream, vinegar, oil, 2 tablespoons basil in a food processor until mixture is very smooth, light, and thick. Season with salt.

For the tomatoes; place the halved tomatoes cut side down on a sheet tray.  Using a butane food torch, char the skins of the tomatoes.  If you don’t have a torch, you can also use a heavy skillet.  Heat the skillet over high heat until smoking, then add the tomatoes skin side down until they become charred.  

Plate your avocado cream before stacking your shrimp and garnishing with the charred tomatoes, radish, and shaved onion.


Pan Seared Diver Scallops, Fried Leeks, with Sauce Verte, & Pistachio Gremolata

Prep Time:  35 mins    Cook Time:  5 mins    Serves:  2

Scallops are a luxurious seafood that when cooked properly yield a soft texture and subtle, sweet flavor.  Searing scallops without overcooking can take a bit of practice, but once you have mastered the technique they will be one of you your favorite items to cook for their versatility.  Like all proteins, getting a good sear on scallops requires a few steps.  Scallops should be rinsed, patted dry, and allowed to come up to room temperature before searing in a very hot pan.  The time in the pan won’t be much, merely a minute or so each side.  You will be able to see them caramelize at the edges, indicating it is time to flip.  Due to their short cooking time, it is possible for you to complete all other items in the recipe and get them on the plate before turning your complete attention to cooking the scallops.  


  • 1 lb fresh diver scallops
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup leeks; thinly sliced into 2” segments
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley; divided
  • ½ cup chopped chervil leaves
  • ½ cup chopped chives
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped; divided
  • 1 shallot, peeled and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chopped anchovy
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pistachios
  • 1 lemon; juiced and zested
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


    Place a high sided pan over medium heat along with the vegetable oil and allow to come up to temperature.  To prepare the leeks, cut the white and pale green part off of the stem. Cut the leeks in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly (try to keep each half in tact).  Thinly slice the leeks into even pieces, about 2" -inches long. Dry thoroughly.  Test the oil with a few pieces to make sure the oil is the correct temperature and not too hot or cold.  Using a slotted spoon, lower the leeks into the oil. Fry them for about 1 to 2 minutes, just until they turn golden. Be careful of any splattering oil. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel to drain.
    In a blender, combine  1 cup parsley, chervil, chives, 2 cloves garlic, shallot, anchovy, capers and lemon juice. Pulse to puree. With the motor running, very slowly drizzle in 1 cup of the olive oil until it is thoroughly incorporated. Transfer to a bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    Combine the reserved parsley and garlic along with the pistachios, lemon, and red pepper in a small bowl; let stand 15 minutes to allow flavors to develop.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
    Remove the small side muscle from the scallops, rinse with cold water and thoroughly pat dry.  Place a large saute pan over high heat with reserved tbsp olive oil and butter.  Season both sides of the scallops liberally with salt and pepper and wait for the pan to come up to temperature.  When the pan is hot (thin wisps of smoke should be coming off the pan), gently add the scallops one at a time to the pan, making sure they are not touching each other.  Move quickly and ensure they have even contact with the pan.  Cook for one minute, looking for browning at the edges, then flip.  The scallops should have a 1/4-inch golden crust on each side while still being translucent in the center