Halibut with Soppressata and Fennel — The Chopped Dinner Challenge

Show: Chopped
Pan Seared Halibut w Spressata and Fennel

Pan Seared Halibut w Spressata and Fennel

Photo by: Petrina Tinslay

Petrina Tinslay

Chopped Dinner Challenge The Chopped Dinner Challenge is a new series of recipes showing you how easy it is to cook like a winning Chopped competitor. Every week, FN Dish will showcase a recipe created by Food Network Kitchens that uses at least one of the Chopped basket ingredients, plus basic grocery goods and simple staples. Consider it your very own Chopped challenge. Just take this frequent tip from the judges: Don’t forget to season!

On this week's Chopped: Competition Italiano episode, the competitors found limoncello, pasta dough, soppressata and newborn baby fish in their appetizer baskets. Except for that last ingredient, the items sound pretty standard for an Italian kitchen. During the challenge, some of the competitors got into a bit of a sticky situation with the pasta dough, which turned out to be the most difficult to transform. But for this Chopped Dinner Challenge, the featured item is the soppressata, a very flavorful Italian salami that's much easier to use than pasta dough. It's great eaten on its own but even better when cooked in a dish like this: Pan-Seared Halibut with Soppressata and Fennel. The recipe is perfect for either an elegant dinner party or a casual family dinner.

To extract the flavor from the soppressata, you'll want to saute it briefly in olive oil and then remove the crispy salami to a plate lined with paper towels. Next add the fennel to the pan. Once it's browned, return the soppressata to the pan and add tomatoes, chopped pickled jalapenos and juice, and water. Cook until it's reduced by half, and then stir in butter for richness.

To cook the halibut, you'll want to first heat a separate skillet. Season the fish well with salt and pepper and sear until brown on both sides. To serve, simply divide the soppressata and vegetable broth among four bowls and top each with seared fish. If you like, drizzle olive oil over top and serve with crusty bread to mop up the flavorful juices. Your family will fall in love with this dish and so will you, since it only takes 35 minutes in total to prepare and cook.

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