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CBC Television | August 8, 2006

Flex Mussels

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Flex Mussels is new to the Summerside waterfront, only in its second year, but in that brief time it has achieved a considerable reputation for itself, making Where to Eat in Canada and the New York Times.

Flex mussels is not known for variety. They serve french fries they cut themselves, lobster rolls, and P.E.I. blue mussels.

It has been said that you can cook mussels in anything but water, and chef-proprietor Garner Quain takes this adage to an extreme, with 22 different varieties, cooked in beer, wine, Pernod, tomato, lemon, coconut milk – just about everything you can think of, except water of course. At Flex Mussels, this traditional Island dish is served in global style, with recipes inspired by Central America, Europe and Asia. Quain says the key to making great mussels is speed. Using high heat and a short cooking time, you can prevent overcooking. Have all of your ingredients ready and don�t overload a pot with mussels. Instead consider making several smaller batches.

The signature dish, wild turkey mussels, has its roots in the American south, featuring bourbon and roasted corn, but also includes the Asian zing of kumquats.

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Wild Turkey Mussels

Serves two

For this recipe, use a 4-6 litre saucepan with a heavy bottom and tight-fitting lid.

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove fresh chopped garlic
2 fresh green onions, chopped
10 fresh kumquats
1 cob corn, poached, charred over a bbq or oven-roasted @ 375 degrees until golden brown
1/4 cup white wine
2 tbsp Wild Turkey bourbon
2 tsp cold butter, unsalted
2 lbs mussels, rinsed, debearded
1 crusty French baguette, sliced

Heat the olive oil on medium-high heat, and add the garlic, green onions, corn and kumquats. Sauté this mixture for 30 seconds, stirring frequently.

Stir in the wine, using a wooden spoon to gently scrape the bottom of the pot smooth.

Add the bourbon, then the mussels.

Cover and allow to steam for 4-6 minutes, stirring gently midway, until all the mussels have opened wide. Remove lid and move mussels to serving dish with slotted spoon. Discard any mussels that are unopened. Reduce sauce by 1/3 (about one minute). Swirl in the butter and turn off the heat. When the butter has melted, pour sauce over mussels.

Serve immediately with plenty of baguette.


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