Omelette roll stuffed with aransò, salted smoked herring, sharp cheddar, sour cream and pickled shallots. | tchakayiti.com

Salted Smoked Herring Omelette Roll

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Good morning, breakfast eaters. Today, I’m taking a dish they cooked quite often in my childhood kitchen for a much-needed new spin.

On the menu: an omelette roll stuffed with salted smoked herring, grated cheese, sour cream and pickled shallots. My take on the Haitian zeu ak aransò, herring omelette.

This omelette  became the bane of my existence.

I could not stand that dish as a child. The mere mention of those two words together zeu and aransò made me want to flee the house.  I never liked eggs. In fact, I despise them. And something about its association with herring just didn’t sit right with my senses. I simply couldn’t stand its putrid smell. At least that’s how my senses perceived the aromas that spread throughout the house as they prepared it. 

If memory serves me right, my dad often used my mother’s chiquetaille de hareng as his base. He would cook the egg in the oily mixture along with bits and pieces of the fish. That concoction simply didn’t make sense to me. I never quite understood how he could stomach it. Without ever eating a bite, I myself could not stomach it.

Yet, I could not refrain from wanting to try to adapt that recipe to my taste.

 After rejecting this breakfast for years, I had to give it a new twist. I opted for an omelette roll because presentation-wise it made more sense. After all, like most people, I eat with my eyes first. To convince myself to try this omelet, my plating had to look amazing.

Omelette roll stuffed with aransò, salted smoked herring, sharp cheddar, sour cream and pickled shallots. | tchakayiti.com

The roll batter consists of a mixture of eggs, cream, salt, pepper, cayenne and freshly chopped curly parsley, which I cooked on one side in a non-stick copper pan, without any excess oil. I spread sharp grated cheddar cheese, uncooked salted smoked herring, pickled shallots and sour cream atop the cooked omelet before rolling it. These last ingredients, of course, have nothing to do with the traditional preparation method. The pickled shallots joined the party because I have grown fond of them these past two years. As for the cheese and sour cream, well, that mixture just makes everything better, wouldn’t you agree? My taste buds definitely did.

The few bites I took almost made me want to make peace with eggs.

Unfortunately, though no foul aromas emanated from that omelette roll, my stomach, as per usual, churned after a few bites. Something about eggy textures never sits right with me. Those dishes always seem to want to come back up. I can only eat eggs if and when they’re buried in a dish that alters the texture.

That said, I know those of you whose stomachs handle eggs well will enjoy this recipe. I can vouch for that. I do appreciate the taste of a good omelet. I just need to refrain from eating too much of it.

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Salted Smoked Herring Omelette Roll

This Haitian-style omelette roll is stuffed with minced salted smoked herring, pickled shallots, cheese and sour cream. Each bite has just the right amount of creaminess and spiciness.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Servings 3

Ingredients

For the omelette

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 splash of cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • chopped curly parsley

For the sour cream mixture

  • 3 tbsp sour cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne
  • ½ tsp chopped garlic
  • ¼ tsp chopped piment bouc optional to taste

For the omelette roll

  • prepared omelet
  • prepared sour cream
  • 3-4 minced salted smoked herring filets
  • pickled shallots
  • curly parsley for garnish

Instructions

For the omelet

  1. Whisk the egg with the seasoning
  2. Set aside
  3. Heat a non-stick red copper pan
  4. Pour the egg mixture in the hot pan
  5. Cook until the top of the omelet is no longer runny
  6. Turn off the heat

For the sour cream mixture

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients
  2. Adjust the seasoning to taste

Putting it all together

  1. Using a spatula, detach the cooked omelet from the sides of the pan. Don’t remove it
  2. Garnish the omelet with the cheese, herring, sour cream, pickled shallots
  3. Carefully roll the omelette upon itself
  4. Remove from pan, garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm

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