Luxury Scottish Fish on Friday
and a Classic Recipe
~ Omelette Arnold Bennett ~
Arnold Bennett (27 May 1867 – 27 March 1931) was a British writer. Often after having been to the theatre in London he visited the Savoy Hotel’s Grillroom. The chef added haddock, cream and Parmesan cheese to the basic omelette and called the new dish “Omelette Arnold Bennett” in his customer’s honour, although other stories say that he was staying there at the time, whilst writing Imperial Palace and he first had this new concoction for breakfast.
Sometimes it’s nice to rediscover a classic, and especially one that uses fine smoked haddock as its principal ingredient, as well as free-range eggs of course. I haven’t made an Omelette Arnold Bennett for a while now, and indeed it was not my intention to post this recipe today – I had other fishy posts to share, but, when I received a box of fresh Scottish fish from John and Delish Fish yesterday and saw that there were some smoked haddock fillets nestled amongst all of the other delicious packs of fish, tea time’s meal was set……it was to be an Omelette Arnold Bennett! This oddly named omelette is a wonderful classic in British culinary history; whilst staying at the Savoy Hotel in London during the 1920’s, the chefs perfected an omelette incorporating smoked haddock, Parmesan cheese and cream, which pleased the author so much he insisted on it being prepared wherever he travelled. The ‘Omelette Arnold Bennett’ has remained a Savoy standard dish ever since, and is beloved of all cooks who work in hotels and bed and breakfast establishments.
It’s not hard to make this classic recipe if the smoked haddock is prepared as wonderfully as the fillets I received, which were boned and skinned already. But, the original recipe is a little tricky and involves several methods including making a béchamel or hollandaise sauce; it is a truly wonderful creation, a fluffy open-faced omelette made with smoked finnan haddock and fresh free-range eggs, oven baked in the final stages to achieve a golden brown top. So, to bring this recipe right up to date and to aid a travel worn and busy chef, that’s me, I adapted the original recipe mercilessly and came up with this version which is simplicity itself. I have still retained the essential elements of smoked haddock, eggs and Parmesan cheese, but have replaced the fiddly sauces and cooking methods with a crème fraîche mixture that is lighter and not as rich. I hope you enjoy this as much as we all did last night, served simply with brown bread and butter and some lemon slices……..watercress and salad leaves also make a great accompaniment to this lovely and luxurious omelette.
That’s it for today, I am off to the Foodies 100 Blog Camp tomorrow, so may not be around until later on on the day! Have a great Friday and weekend, I will be back very soon with more recipes and news about my day at the Blog Camp in Birmingham. Bye for now, Karen.