How to Make Omelet Arnold Bennett – Recipe | Food

A Brunch classic that deserves to be better known, much like the early 20th century writer it is named after. Though Bennett himself seems to have enjoyed the dish as an after-theater dinner, this silky, smoky tangle of eggs, cheese, and haddock is so ridiculously, deliciously rich that it’s best consumed well before bed…though I won’t judge you if you want to go back to bed afterwards.

preparation 5 minutes
infuse 30 minutes
a cook 35 mins
serves 2

½ onion
200ml milk
130ml double cream
1 bay leaf
½ tsp peppercorns
A grating of nutmeg
200 g smoked white fish fillets
(e.g. sustainably smoked haddock or pollack)
35 grams of butter
25 grams of flour
4 eggs
plus 2 egg yolks
20g ParmesanFinely grated
1 tbsp chopped chivesbreak up

1 Prepare the sauce if you like

Note that depending on the size of your skillet, you can make two individual omelettes or one large one to share. If possible, use an ovenproof one that fits under the grill. If you want to progress further, make the recipe the night before until the end of step 5 and gently reheat the sauce the next day.

Pour 2 milk

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelette Arnold Bennett 1. Pour in milk

Roughly chop the onion, then place in a small saucepan along with the bay leaf, peppercorns and one grated nutmeg, the milk and 100ml of the cream. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and let steep for 30 minutes. Strain the infused milk, discarding the solids, then pour the milk back into the pan.

3 Add the fish

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelette Arnold Bennett 2: Adding the Fish

Bring the milk to a simmer, then add the fish, slicing as needed to submerge as much of it as possible. Traditionally, this dish is made with smoked haddock, but any cold-smoked white fish will work, so use what’s locally available and most sustainable; I’ve even been known to do it with kippers.

4 Allow to boil off the heat

Remove the pan from the heat, cover, and let sit for about 5 minutes (longer if the fish is particularly thick) until the fish is cooked to the point where it flakes easily. Lift out the fish with a slotted spoon, peeling off the skin if necessary and chop the flesh into large chunks. Pour the milk into a jug.

5 Finish the sauce

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelette Arnold Bennett 3 Prepare the sauce.

Melt 25g butter in a small pan (use the same one to save on washing up) over medium heat, then stir in the flour and cook, stirring, for about a minute. Gradually stir in the infused milk, then cook, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens to the consistency of double cream. Take the pan off the heat.

Add 6 egg yolks

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelet Arnold Bennett 5. It's some egg yolk.

Whisk the egg yolks with the remaining cream, then gradually stir into the sauce. Stir in the fish flakes, then season to taste—you probably don’t need a lot of salt because smoked fish is already quite salty, but you might want to add a little more pepper or nutmeg.

7 Start with the omelet

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelet Arnold Bennett 6. Fire up the grill.  In a medium omelet pan (or all in a large skillet if making an omelet for sharing), whisk the four remaining eggs with some seasoning and half the remaining butter over medium-high heat.  When the foam subsides, pour in half the eggs (or all if you're making a large one) and shake the pan to coat the bottom.

Heat up the grill. In a medium omelet pan (or all in a large skillet if making an omelet for sharing), whisk the four eggs with some seasoning and half the remaining butter over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, pour in half the eggs (or all if you’re making a large one) and shake the pan to coat the bottom.

Add 8 sauce and cheese

Let the eggs sit until they start to set and bubble, then use a fork to scoop the sides of the omelet toward the center while tilting the pan to move runny egg to the sides.

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelet Arnold Bennett 7. Let the eggs sit until they start to set and bubble, then use a fork to smear the sides of the omelet toward the center while tilting the pan at the same time

When the omelet is almost set but still slightly fluffy in the middle, remove the pan from the heat, add half (or all) of the fish sauce and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelet Arnold Bennett 8. Move a runny egg to one side.  When the omelet is almost set but still a little fluffy in the center, remove the pan from the heat, add half (or all) of the sauce, and sprinkle with the grated cheese.

9 finish under the grill

Felicity Cloake's Master Class - Omelette Arnold Bennett 9. Place omelet under hot grill until lightly golden and bubbling on top.  If you're making two omelettes, tip the first onto a heatproof plate and keep somewhere warm while you repeat the process with the second.  Once both are done, place the omelettes under the hot grill until lightly golden and bubbling on top.  Sprinkle with the chopped chives and serve immediately — I usually just set the pan out on the table and pop it in.

Place the omelette under the hot grill until lightly golden and bubbling on top. If you’re making two omelettes, tip the first one onto a heatproof plate and keep it in a warm place while you make the second. Sprinkle with the chopped chives and serve immediately — I usually just set the pan out on the table and pop it in.

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