Intro: Popeye Shots (Spinach and Mussel Soup)
Having a party and in need of an easy appitizer that's sure to make people say "Wow that's clever!". Then by all means make up a big batch of Popeye shots.
This is a super simple, 6 ingredient, low calorie, one-pot dish served in a shot glass. It's a tounge and cheek way to mimic our favorite animated sailor's method of achieving super human strength by eating spinach in order to get the mussel.
Ingredients: (Serves about 30 shots)
1-2 pounds of live mussels
8 ounces of fresh, washed spinach
Start by steaming the mussels in a large lidded pot. Add about 1/4 cup of water and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, cover and cook over a medium high heat for 3-5 minutes or until the mussels open.
Disguard any mussels that didn't open and carefully remove each mussel from it's shell. Do your best to keep the mussels whole and disguard any that aren't plump. Keep about 1/4 cup of the leftover mussel liquid (or mussel liquor). Disguard the shells. Refridgerate the mussels if you're aren't serving the soup soon.
Strain the 1/4 cup mussel liquor for shells bits or anything else leftover, and add it to the same (now empty) pot over a medium high heat. Add the spinach, season with salt and pepper and cook until the spinach has wilted, stirring occasionally (about 5 minutes).
Once wilted, transfer the spinach and all the liquid from the pot to a blender, add about 1 cup of vegetable broth and blend until smooth (about 5-10 minutes depending on the strengh of your blender, but you really want it smooth)
Once smooth add the spinach back to the pot, add another 1 1/2 to 2 cups of vegatble broth and heat over a medium heat until hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook for about 5 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice once the soup is hot, transer the soup to a pitcher or something with a spout (makes serving much easier), allow the soup to cool a little and you're ready to serve.
Line up your shot glasses (I recommend disposable 1 ounce shot glasses or any small disposable cup. They go quickly so no need to wash dozens of regular shot glasses) Add one plump mussel to each glass then pour in the spinach soup to the top. Serve immediaty.