1 small red onion, halved and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 small red bell pepper, cored, seeds and membranes removed, and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 Roma tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
1 cup homemade or store-bought fish stock, or 1/2 cup clam broth mixed with 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Pinot Gris or other good-quality Pinot Gris
1 pound Manila clams, shells scrubbed and rinsed
1 pound mussels, shells scrubbed and rinsed and mussels debearded just before cooking
4 ounces cooked octopus, very thinly sliced
4 ounces Alaskan spot prawns or medium-sized shrimp, peeled, deveined, and cut in half lengthwise
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Step 1: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the canola oil.
Step 2: Arrange the halibut fillets flesh side down without crowding, and cook until the fillets turn a soft golden brown and caramelize, 3 to 4 minutes.
Step 3:Turn and cook until medium rare (still a bit translucent in the center), 2 to 4 minutes more, being careful not to overcook. If desired, remove the skin. Cover to keep warm, and set aside.
Step 4: While the fish is cooking, make the cioppino.
Step 5: Heat a Dutch oven or stockpot over medium heat and add the olive oil.
Step 6: When the oil is hot, add the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds. Add the onion and red bell pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute.
Step 7: Add the tomato, fish stock, and wine, stir well, and cook for 1 minute. Add the clams, cover, and cook for 2 minutes.
Step 8: Add the mussels, cover, and cook for 4 minutes. When most of the clams and mussels have opened, add the octopus and prawns, cover, and cook until the prawns just turn pink and their tails curl slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Step 9:Remove from the heat and discard any clams or mussels that have not opened. Gently stir in the parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Step 10: Divide the cioppino among 6 soup or pasta bowls. Arrange one halibut fillet in the center of each bowl and serve at once.