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Omelette Arnold Bennett

An 'open' omelette created at The Savoy Hotel, London for the eponymous novelist, during the 1920's.
These days, the double cream, used to finish the dish, is sometimes replaced by crème fraiche – which gives a slightly sharper flavour, take your choice.
This omelette needs eating immediately to be at its best, but could also make good picnic food, if the cream/creme fraiche is omitted and the omelette allowed to cool completely. It can then be sliced into segments.


For each person:

We don't advise more than doubling-up on this recipe in one pan.

120g/4 oz Undyed Smoked Haddock, with the skin & bones removed
175ml/6 fl oz Milk
1 Bay Leaf (dried is fine)
15g/½ oz Butter
3 medium Eggs
30g/1 oz Gruyere or Fresh Parmesan - grated
a little Salt and plenty of freshly-ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Double Cream or Crème Fraiche

Equipment needed: a heavy omelette pan, or a good non-stick frying pan of about 20cm/8 ins.
A pre-heated Grill.


1.Heat the milk with the bay leaf until it simmers, then add the smoked haddock and cook slowly for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

2. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a bowl, beat lightly and season with the salt and pepper.

3. When cool enough to handle, flake the fish into chunk-sized pieces, and mix these into the eggs.

4. Heat the grill.

5. Heat the butter in your chosen frying pan over a high heat until the butter just starts to smoke.

6. Add the egg - it should start to set almost instantly.

7. Tip the pan slightly, then work with a spatula to push the egg mixture to 'the top of the hill', allowing any liquid egg to come into contact with the pan base. In this way all the egg is equally cooked - you don't want a leathery omelette.

8. After 1 minute, in total, remove the pan from the heat, sprinkle over the smoked haddock pieces, followed by the grated cheese.

9. Pour over the cream / crème fraiche and put under the pre-heated grill until the mixture bubbles.

Serve - either traditionally flat, or folded in half with some crusty French-style bread.

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