SMOKED HADDOCK OMELETTE

SMOKED HADDOCK OMELETTE

A delicate, beautiful omelette is one of those pure dishes that makes you realise great food does not have to be about hundreds of ingredients on a plate. It’s about allowing a simple product to sing. This smoked haddock omelette, which has been on The Hand & Flowers menu pretty much since we opened, is probably my favourite dish. There is no reason why this dish should ever change. I can’t improve on it. The flavour profile of the humble omelette is heightened with gently poached smoked haddock, a brilliant glaze made from hollandaise sauce and a béchamel sauce flavoured with the fish poaching liquor. So, even the glaze has got that lovely smoked taste, which really drives the flavour.

INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 4

Poached smoked haddock:

1 side of smoked haddock, 600g, skin and pin bones removed

600ml whole milk

 

Smoked fish béchamel:

250ml smoked haddock poaching liquor

15g unsalted butter

15g plain flour

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Omelette glaze:

4 tbsp warm smoked haddock béchamel

4 tbsp hollandaise sauce

4 medium free-range egg yolks

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

To assemble & cook the omelette:

12 medium free-range eggs

4 tbsp unsalted butter

100g aged Parmesan, finely grated

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

METHOD

Poached smoked haddock:

1: Check the smoked haddock for any tiny pin bones. Bring the milk to the boil in a wide-based saucepan.

2: Carefully lay the smoked haddock in the pan, ensuring it is covered by the milk. Place a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and leave the fish to poach in the residual heat for about 10 minutes.

3: Once the haddock is cooked, remove it from the milk and gently flake the fish into a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cover the tray with cling film and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

4: Pass the milk through a fine chinois into a clean saucepan and keep to one side.

 

Smoked fish béchamel:

5: Bring the smoked haddock poaching liquor to a gentle simmer.

6: In a separate pan over a medium-low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually ladle in the warm poaching liquor, stirring as you do so to keep the sauce smooth.

7: Cook gently over a very low heat for 20 minutes.

8: Pass the sauce through a fine chinois and cover the surface with a piece of baking parchment or cling film to prevent a skin forming. Set aside until needed. (You won’t need all of the fish béchamel but you can freeze the rest.)

 

Omelette glaze:

9: Gently warm the béchamel in a saucepan then pour into a bowl and whisk in the hollandaise and egg yolks.

10: Season with salt and pepper to taste and pass through a chinois into a warm jug or bowl. Keep warm to stop the glaze from splitting.

 

To assemble & cook the omelette:

11: Crack the eggs into a jug blender and blend briefly to combine. Pass through a chinois into a measuring jug.

12: Place 4 individual omelette pans (we use Staub) over a low heat.

13: Take the smoked haddock from the fridge, remove the cling film and lay on a grill tray. Warm under the salamander or grill.

14: To each omelette pan, add 1 tbsp butter and heat until melted and foaming. Pour the blended egg into the pans, dividing it equally. Using a spatula, gently move the egg around in the pans until they start to firm up. Remove from the heat; you want the eggs to be slightly loose, as they will continue to cook off the heat.

15: Season the omelettes with salt and pepper and sprinkle the grated Parmesan over their surfaces. Divide the laked smoked haddock between the omelettes, then spoon on the glaze to cover the fish and extend to the edge of the pans. If the glaze spills over the side of the pan, wipe it away, as this will burn on the side when blowtorching.

16: To finish, wave a cook’s blowtorch over the surface of the omelettes to caramelise the glaze. Allow the glaze to become quite dark, as the bitterness will balance out the richness of all the other ingredients.

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INGREDIENTS

SERVES: 4

Poached smoked haddock:

1 side of smoked haddock, 600g, skin and pin bones removed

600ml whole milk

 

Smoked fish béchamel:

250ml smoked haddock poaching liquor

15g unsalted butter

15g plain flour

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

Omelette glaze:

4 tbsp warm smoked haddock béchamel

4 tbsp hollandaise sauce

4 medium free-range egg yolks

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

 

To assemble & cook the omelette:

12 medium free-range eggs

4 tbsp unsalted butter

100g aged Parmesan, finely grated

Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

METHOD

Poached smoked haddock:

1: Check the smoked haddock for any tiny pin bones. Bring the milk to the boil in a wide-based saucepan.

2: Carefully lay the smoked haddock in the pan, ensuring it is covered by the milk. Place a lid on the pan, turn off the heat and leave the fish to poach in the residual heat for about 10 minutes.

3: Once the haddock is cooked, remove it from the milk and gently flake the fish into a tray lined with greaseproof paper. Cover the tray with cling film and place in the fridge until ready to serve.

4: Pass the milk through a fine chinois into a clean saucepan and keep to one side.

 

Smoked fish béchamel:

5: Bring the smoked haddock poaching liquor to a gentle simmer.

6: In a separate pan over a medium-low heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Gradually ladle in the warm poaching liquor, stirring as you do so to keep the sauce smooth.

7: Cook gently over a very low heat for 20 minutes.

8: Pass the sauce through a fine chinois and cover the surface with a piece of baking parchment or cling film to prevent a skin forming. Set aside until needed. (You won’t need all of the fish béchamel but you can freeze the rest.)

 

Omelette glaze:

9: Gently warm the béchamel in a saucepan then pour into a bowl and whisk in the hollandaise and egg yolks.

10: Season with salt and pepper to taste and pass through a chinois into a warm jug or bowl. Keep warm to stop the glaze from splitting.

 

To assemble & cook the omelette:

11: Crack the eggs into a jug blender and blend briefly to combine. Pass through a chinois into a measuring jug.

12: Place 4 individual omelette pans (we use Staub) over a low heat.

13: Take the smoked haddock from the fridge, remove the cling film and lay on a grill tray. Warm under the salamander or grill.

14: To each omelette pan, add 1 tbsp butter and heat until melted and foaming. Pour the blended egg into the pans, dividing it equally. Using a spatula, gently move the egg around in the pans until they start to firm up. Remove from the heat; you want the eggs to be slightly loose, as they will continue to cook off the heat.

15: Season the omelettes with salt and pepper and sprinkle the grated Parmesan over their surfaces. Divide the laked smoked haddock between the omelettes, then spoon on the glaze to cover the fish and extend to the edge of the pans. If the glaze spills over the side of the pan, wipe it away, as this will burn on the side when blowtorching.

16: To finish, wave a cook’s blowtorch over the surface of the omelettes to caramelise the glaze. Allow the glaze to become quite dark, as the bitterness will balance out the richness of all the other ingredients.

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SEEN IN

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THE HAND AND FLOWERS COOKBOOK (2020)

Celebrating 15 years of The Hand and Flowers, this book contains 70 of the best dishes that have ever appeared on the menu.

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