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Omelette Arnold Bennett

Introduction & method

Omelette Arnold Bennett originated in the 1930s when the writer stayed at the Savoy Hotel in London and requested something with eggs and fish for his breakfast. The kitchen put together this beast of an omelette, with smoked haddock, bechamel sauce and cheese. It is absolutely delicious.

Omelette Arnold Bennett Recipe

Cook the Fish

Run your fingers over the fish and remove any bones that you find. Arrange it in a single layer in a 20cm (8 inch) frying pan. Peel and chop the onion, and add that to the pan with the bay leaf and black pepper. Pour the milk into the pan. It should just cover everything. Cook the fish on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until the flesh is opaque and can easily be separated into flakes with a fork. When the fish is cooked, remove it from the heat and drain off the milk - don't throw it away, you'll need it for the sauce. Use two forks to separate the fish from the skin.

Make the Bechamel Sauce

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, making sure it is thoroughly mixed with the butter, and cook on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the milk that the fish was poached in, and the cream. Stir well and continue cooking untill the sauce thickens. Remove from heat and set aside until needed.

Cook the Omelette

Heat your grill / broiler. Beat the eggs together and add a pinch of salt. Melt a small amount of butter in the frying pan and pour in the eggs. Cook on medium heat. As the egg firms up, tease the edge of the omelette away from the sides of the pan with a spatula. When the omelette is about half-cooked, break the fish into flakes and put it on top of the omelette. You might want to pop the pan under the grill at this point to firm up the top of the omelette.

Finish It

When the eggs are set, pour the bechamel sauce over and spread into an even layer. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and pop under the grill until the top is golden, bubbling and browned in places. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. This is brilliant for breakfast or lunch.

The video above is from the Keef Cooks YouTube channel. Click here to see the video recipe of Omelette Arnold Bennett on YouTube.


Ingredients & Info

 4 eggs
 200 ml milk
 125 ml double (heavy) cream
 250 grams smoked haddock
 50 grams gruyere or parmesan cheese
 half an onion
 1 bay leaf
 half a tbsp ground black pepper
 25 grams unsalted butter
 25 grams flour
 small handful fresh parsley


If you can't get smoked haddock, any firm-fleshed white fish will do, but smoked is better.

US Customary/Imperial

Makes 1 20cm (8 inch) omelette
Prep time: 10 minutes.
Cooking time: 20 minutes.
Total time: 30 minutes.