My version of the classic fish omelette Arnold Bennett. Made with flakes of smoky haddock, lightly cooked eggs, and a bechamel flavoured with mustard and Worcestershire.
You might be wondering who Arnold Bennett is and why the hell an omelette is named after him. Spare a thought though for the waiters at london’s savoy hotel who must get tired of answering this question. Apparently this classic is still made there on a daily basis since some clever chef invented it in the hotel’s kitchen for the writer decades ago.
The story goes that Arnold was staying at the hotel while writing a novel. One night the chefs whipped up this omelette for his supper and he liked it so much he insisted it be cooked for him wherever he traveled. Hence the name.
Personally I’m not really that into omelets. Normally I like my eggs fried or boiled but on this occasion I have to agree with Mr. Bennett this unusual omelette tastes absolutely divine.
Smoked haddock and milk are too ingredients that love each other. In the recipe the haddock is lightly poached in the milk till just cooked. This infuses the milk with a deep smoky flavour before its used to make a traditional bechamel that’s been given a kick with some spicy English mustard and Worcestershire sauce.
The cooked haddock is then folded back into the velvety sauce with some herbs and parmesan cheese. This delicious concoction is than pored over some lightly cooked fluffy eggs and gratinated under a hot grill till bubbling and golden. An ideal brunch dish. Warm eggy comfort on a cold day. Just serve it with a simple salad and some crusty bread.
Those of you who are a bit superstitious might like to know legend has it that you’ll suffer the wrath of Arnold’s ghost if you mess around with the original recipe. Thing is though, I’m not sure if any one knows just what’s in the original. I’ve seen countless different versions of it in cookbooks and online.
Some recipes call for a bechamel and others are made with a hollandaise. Some have parmesan cheese while others use Gruyère. As well as all sorts of different flavouring and ingredients added to either sauce. So i reckon you can safely pimp out your omelette Arnold Bennett what ever way you please without worrying about being haunted.
I’ve found two factors that contribute to the success of a delicious omelette Arnold Bennett. First, make the sauce just before you’re about to cook your eggs. You want it to be hot as it goes over the eggs. Second, don’t over cook those eggs you want them light, fluffy, and barley cooked. Go easy on the seasoning too. Smoked fish can be a bit salty.
How about you, what do you like to put in an omelette?