Omelette Arnold Bennett


Created at the Savoy Hotel for the writer and critic whose name it bears, this elaborate, rich concoction seems to have disappeared from hotel and restaurant menus. To tell you the truth, a busy kitchen stops dead when they get a couple of these on order, so that’s probably why! It can be served as a main course or for brunch, and you may want to make the omelettes a little bigger and add another egg per person. If you haven’t got small egg or blinis pans, then make it with a larger one and cut the omelette into four before glazing it. There is a school of thought that says this should be a soufflé omelette, i.e. all or some of the eggs separated and the whites beaten until standing in soft peaks, then mixed in like a soufflé so the omelette rises when grilled, but I prefer them simply glazed under the grill as here.
Mark Hix

Prep Time - 30 minutes Cook Time - 30 minutes Serves 4


200g natural, undyed smoked haddock, skinned and boned
1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
150ml double cream
Good knob of butter
8 Cotswold Legbars or Burford Brown large eggs, beaten, plus 1 extra egg yolk
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Put the haddock in a pan with the shallots and just cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer, covered with a lid, for 2 minutes. Remove the haddock with a slotted spoon and drain on some kitchen paper.

Continue to simmer the cooking liquid until it has almost completely reduced, then add the double cream, bring back to the boil and continue to simmer until it has reduced by two-thirds and has thickened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool a little.

Flake the haddock flesh into the sauce, add the egg yolk and parsley, stir well and season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Preheat the grill to its maximum temperature.

Heat a little butter over a low heat in a small non-stick egg or blini pan or a favourite frying pan that doesn’t stick. Season the beaten eggs and pour a quarter of the egg mix into the pan, or enough to fill two-thirds of the pan. Over a low heat, stir the eggs with a wooden spoon or plastic spatula, until the mixture begins to set but the eggs are still soft. Stop stirring.

Take a plate a little larger than the pan and turn it upside down on top of the pan. Invert the omelette on to the plate and transfer to a heatproof plate or serving dish. Repeat with the rest of the mixture until you have 4 small omelettes. Spoon the haddock mixture over the omelettes, spreading it evenly with the back of the spoon until covered. Put them under the grill for a minute or two until evenly browned. (If you left them in the pan to glaze, the insides of the omelettes would overcook and dry up in the pan’s residual heat.)

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