Omelette Arnold Bennett

, from Issue #16. September, 2015
Photography by Nick Tresidder.
Omelette Arnold Bennett

Chefs at the Savoy in London created this dish for novelist Arnold Bennett who wrote the book, Imperial Palace, while staying at the hotel. This is my less rich version of the Savoy recipe, which included both béchamel and hollandaise sauce.

Serves: 4


600 grams smoked fish
400 ml milk
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

25 grams butter 25 grams flour
¾ cup reserved milk from poaching the fish
2 tablespoons cream
1 teaspoon English mustard
1 egg, separated
¼ cup grated Gruyère cheese

For each omelette
2-3 eggs per person
1 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon finely chopped chives
knob of butter
grated Parmesan cheese

To finish
crème fraiche
chopped chives


Fish: Place the fish with the milk, peppercorns and bay leaf in a shallow pan and poach gently for 3 minutes. Drain, reserving the milk. Flake the fish, discarding any skin and bones. Set aside.

Sauce: Combine the reserved milk with the cream. Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour to make a smooth roux. Cook for 1 minute then whisk in the milk mixture. Season and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the mustard, egg yolk, cheese and half the fish. Whisk the egg white to soft peaks and fold into the warm sauce.

Preheat the grill to its highest setting.

Omelette: Lightly whisk the eggs, water, chives, salt and freshly ground pepper in a bowl. Add a quarter of the remaining fish.

Melt the butter in a 10 cm non-stick oven-proof sauté pan and when foaming tip in the egg mixture. Leave for a minute then gently bring the edges into the centre of the pan, lifting up the folds to allow the uncooked egg to run underneath. When the eggs are three quarters set, spread a quarter of the sauce evenly over the top and sprinkle with Parmesan. Place under the grill and cook until puffed and golden. Repeat to make another 3 omelettes.

To serve: The omelette can be served in its pan or transferred to a plate and topped with a spoonful of crème fraiche and chopped chives.

A 24 cm sauté pan can be used to make one large 10 egg omelette to serve 4 people.