Cooking with Kenny: Mussels Marinara with Wayfarers' Beer Bread

Mussels Marinara with Wayfarers' Beer Bread
A while back while visiting Wayfarers’ Ale Society in Port Williams, Nova Scotia we were bestowed with a beer bread recipe from Colleen, one of the most personable, and delightful servers we have ever met.  We came home that day with their Ruby Ale Irish Red (all of their beer is brewed on site), and the very best intentions to make her delicious bread.

...But, we drank the beer, and misplaced the recipe.

Sometime during the onslaught of Nor’easters we received in March we revived the idea to make that bread.  We headed out, and brought home enough beer to make the bread, and have some to spare.

When we got home we realized the recipe we had wasn’t where we thought we had left it, and we were in the middle of yet another fierce storm.  We easily could have drunk all the beer again, but this time we were determined to make the bread.

 IMG_7513We had more snow in March than we did all winter.  This was taken one of the first nice days when it started to melt.


So, we did what any good chef with a dinner plan and fresh mussels would do.  We improvised.  Well, we tried our best to remember the recipe.  As luck would have it, or maybe Murphy, we found the recipe the day after our impromptu attempt.  I’m happy to report that we were pretty close to the original ingredients (just a bit too much salt), and it was a total success.  The best part about this recipe is that you can have fresh bread on the table in an hour; Start to finish, no kneading, no rising.  You can, of course use any beer you like, and different kinds of beer will diversify the flavour.


Wayfarers’ Ruby Ale Bread

(Colleen from Wayfarers’ original recipe)


Kenny Making Bread

Preheat oven to 350°F

  • Sift the flour, and measure the beer
  • Combine beer with dry ingredients.
  • Combine with wooden spoon until dough forms, then use hands to shape.

Kenny feeding the cat bread dough
This is what our dough looked like when the ingredients were fully incorporated.  Kenny shaped the dough to fit in his pan. 
Place dough in desired pan (an ordinary loaf pan would work great too), and drizzle with melted butter.  Pop it in the oven, and get ready for your kitchen to smell amazing.  Our loaf took 50 minutes to cook.

Kenny’s Mussels Marinara

While beer and bread may be the perfect combination of two of our favourite things, this hearty bread with its crispy, buttery crust is very well suited to be served alongside mussels.  The mussels can easily be prepared while the bread is cooking in the oven.


 3 lbs  mussels
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion diced
3 clove garlic minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cup marinara
1 cup crushed tomato
1/4 cup fresh parsley minced
1 tsp dried oregano
lemon wedges to garnish


Heat oil on medium in large Dutch oven.  Add onions and garlic and cook until soft, about five minutes.


Add wine, marinara, crushed tomatoes and bring to a boil.  Then add half of the parsley, and oregano.



Add mussels.  Stir, and cook uncovered until shells open, about 8 minutes.


Coat mussels in marinara, and discard any that did not open.

IMG_8603 2

Plate, garnish with lemon wedges, and serve!





This proved to be a delicious meal on a wintry day, although it would be great anytime of year.  We are gearing up for our growing season, and very excited for the months ahead.  Some of our seeds are underway, and sometimes I feel like I’m just waiting for the snow to melt, but at least I know I’m not the only one.


At one point the drift was up over the window! The girls do not like to get their feet wet.
So stormy outside, but still getting our seeds going in the potting shed. 


He cooks, and built our germination room!  We have room for 36 trays inside on heat mats, and under lights.  We are hoping to get our greenhouse up and running in the next few weeks to be able to increase our propagation, but we’re at the mercy of the weather.   At least we know when spring does come, we’ll be ready.