From the menu of: CousCous

From the menu of … CousCous, 560 Dutch Valley Road, Atlanta. 404-685-3111,

Q: A dear friend and I had a great time at CousCous, starting out with a Rosemary Runner cocktail and mussels 'to live for'. Every bite was savored and appreciated. I don't know if I could duplicate what they did but would certainly like to try. — Beverly Molander, Atlanta

A: Chef Khaled Chebbi, a native of Tunisia, provided the recipe for Mussels La Goulette, a dish which owes its name to the town of La Goulette in the northern suburbs of Tunis. “This coastal town is famous for its delicious mussels.” Chebbi adapted the traditional recipe and says he’s created “the best mussels in town.”

The mussels are a favorite of his customers and he credits their success to the harissa, or red chili paste, that flavors the sauce. He makes his own harissa for the restaurant, but you can purchase harissa at the Buford Highway Farmers Market.

Chebbi cautions that the mussels you use for the dish must be the freshest possible. “Smaller mussels are best. The mussels themselves should be clean and closed.” The restaurant serves 20 to 25 mussels in this small plate offering.

Is there a recipe from a metro Atlanta restaurant you’d like to make at home? Tell us and we’ll try to get it. We’ll also test it and adapt it for the home kitchen. Because of volume, we can’t answer all inquiries. Send your request, your address and phone number to and put “From the menu of” and the name of restaurant in the subject line.

Couscous’ Mussels La Goulette

Hands on: 15 minutes Total time: 15 minutes Serves: 2

2 teaspoons unsalted butter, divided

1 teaspoon chopped shallots

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 pound mussels

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup diced fresh tomatoes

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 teaspoon capers

1 teaspoon harissa

Salt and pepper

Lemon wedges, chopped parsley, grilled baguette slices for garnish

In a large saucepan, melt 1 teaspoon butter, then saute shallots and garlic for 1 minute. Add mussels and cook 1 minute. Add white wine, and cook 1 minute more. Add cream, tomatoes, lemon juice, capers, harissa and remaining teaspoon butter. Cook 1 minute. Taste sauce for seasoning.

Cover saucepan and cook mussels for 5 minutes or until all are open. Garnish with lemon wedge and chopped parsley and serve immediately with grilled baguette slices for dipping into the sauce.

Per serving: 364 calories (percent of calories from fat, 53), 28 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 20 grams fat (10 grams saturated), 115 milligrams cholesterol, 679 milligrams sodium.