Omelette Arnold Bennett

The Feathers, Oxfordshire

1kg smoked undyed haddock1 litre milk1 bay leaf¼ tsp black peppercorns1 slice onion150g butter, plus extra for frying200g plain flour300g double cream300g hollandaise20g parmesan, finely grated3 eggsChives & sea salt to garnish

Serves 4

In a small pan gently warm the milk, bay leaf, peppercorns and onion over a low heat to just below boiling point, then lower in the haddock skin-side down. Cover the surface with a dampened piece of greaseproof paper and poach gently for about 4 minutes until the fish is just beginning to flake when pressed. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon and, when cool enough to handle, remove the skin and any bones and flake into pieces.Strain the milk into a clean small pan to discard the aromatics and return to the heat. Melt 150g of butter in a separate pan and add the flour to make a roux. Add the milk, whisking constantly, until you have a smooth thickened béchamel sauce.Whisk the cream to soft peaks. Fold in equal quantities of hollandaise and béchamel and check the seasoning.Heat a lightly oiled 18-20cm omelette pan over a medium to high heat. Break the eggs into a bowl, season, and beat with a fork. Add a knob of butter to the pan and swirl it about to coat. When the butter starts to foam, pour in the eggs. Stir them continually, tilting the pan from side to side, until the eggs are set on the bottom and the top is soft and creamy. Don’t do more than 2 omelettes in one pan, or you’ll end up with scrambled eggs.Remove the pan from the heat and add the haddock. Place into warmed serving dishes, spoon over a thin layer of sauce (too much and the flavor will be too creamy) and grill for a few minutes until golden brown. Garnish with grated parmesan, chives and sea salt.