Concierge Mondays Personal Organizer Serge the Concierge To Do Lists Weblogs

Giving an Estimate Can Be Just That, Giving an Estimate, Which Does Not Give License to Price Gouge

Mar 1
Giving an estimate can be just that: giving an estimate. I want clients to keep that in mind on occasion. When some jobs take me to New York City, even now, travel time can be hard to predict. If many stops are part of the picture, it adds to the uncertainty. In these cases, I give an estimated price for the job based on details that are given to me, and make that clear to...
Continue reading
Books Food and Drink Recipes Recipes: Gluten Free Recipes: Ice Cream, Sorbet and Pops Recipes: Vegan Serge the Concierge Weblogs

Naturally Lean by Allyson Kramer plus Foolproof Freezer Cookbook by Ghillie James, 2 Book Giveaway Number 5

Feb 26
After skipping last Friday due to a cold, Naturally Lean and Foolproof Freezer Cookbook are 2 Book Giveaway Number 5 lineup. Each Giveaway is a Twofer, book cleaning before Spring. First, plant based and gluten free recipes in Naturally Lean (Da Capo Lifelong, May 2016) by Allyson Kramer Secondly, Foolproof Freezer Cookbook (Kyle Books, 2011) by Ghillie James. -Question: Where is Ghillie James currently residing? First come first serve. E-mail your answers to: s.ls [at]...
Continue reading

More posts

Don't Drop the Ball, Lache Pas La Boulette, Shrimp Boulettes Recipe from Mosquito Supper Club Cookbook

Don't drop the ball, lache pas la boulette, with this Shrimp Boulettes recipe from Mosquito Supper Club (Artisan Books, April 2020) by Melissa Martin.

Shrimp Boulettes

Shrimp boulettes, or fried shrimp balls, might remind you of Thai fish cakes or Vietnamese shrimp on sugarcane. The shrimp is ground up and fried without any flour or cornmeal (shrimp is sticky enough to bind the vegetables together, so you don’t need to add any filler). Eat the boulettes as a snack with hot sauce, or put some on a roll with bitter greens, cocktail sauce, or spicy mayo to turn them into a sandwich. Either way, they are a great way to eat small fresh shrimp.

Serves 6

Shrimp Boulette Mosquite Supper Club

Ingredients:

¾ cup (110 g) coarsely chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped green onion

¼ cup (25 g) coarsely chopped celery

2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1¼ pounds (565 g) peeled and deveined small or medium shrimp

1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed

⅛ teaspoon cracked black pepper, plus more as needed

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more as needed

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon hot sauce, preferably Original Louisiana Hot Sauce, plus more as needed

Peanut oil, for frying

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the bell pepper, green onion, celery, parsley, shrimp, salt, black pepper, cayenne, and hot sauce and toss to distribute the ingredients evenly. Using an old-fashioned meat grinder or a food processor, grind the mixture together. If using a food processor, work in small batches and pulse until smooth, then transfer to a bowl. In either case, after grinding, you should not see any vegetables; the boulette mix should be a homogenous paste.

Fill a large heavy-bottomed pot with 4 inches (10 cm) of peanut oil and heat the oil over medium-high heat to 375°F (190°C). (Alternatively, use a tabletop fryer; see page 25.)

Using two spoons or a small (#100) cookie scoop, form a ball of the boulette mix no bigger than the diameter of a quarter and carefully drop it into the hot oil. Fry this tester boulette for about 6 minutes, until golden brown on the outside. Transfer the boulette to a paper towel or a brown paper bag to drain excess oil and let it cool. Taste the boulette: Does the mix need more salt? More pepper or more heat? Add salt, black pepper, cayenne, or hot sauce to your liking—I like boulettes to have a slight vinegary taste, and hot sauce gives them that flavor. There is no one perfect formula. You have to taste your mix every time.

Once you have adjusted your mix, drop about 15 balls at a time into the hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer the boulettes to paper towels or brown paper bags to drain and cool briefly, then serve.

The boulette mix will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 days. If making ahead of time, add the salt right before frying to keep the mix from getting watery.

(“Excerpted from Mosquito Supper Club by Melissa Martin -Artisan Books- Copyright © 2020. Photographs by Denny Culbert")


Think You Asked Client Too Many Questions. Until Moment You Realize You Missed Very Important Detail

When I start working with new clients, I like to meet with them prior to first assignment with my New Jersey Concierges service so I can assess their needs.

I sometimes wonder if I am peppering them with too many questions.

That is until the moment I realize I missed a very important one.

Case in mind: years ago a client asked me to take his car for service.

When I got to the car, I found out it was a 'stick shift'.

I don't know how to drive them.

Triumph locmariaquer july 2015

So I had to reschedule until I could get a teammate who drives 'stick shift' to do it.

Since that day, when I need to deal with someone's car issues, guess what my first question is?

Stuck in the wrong gear for Concierge Mondays # 8

(* Took photo of this vintage Triumph in Locmariaquer -Brittany, France- July 2015)


Higher Service Price Does Not Always Mean It is the Most Costly. Sealed and Insured for Concierge Mondays #7

Higher service price does not always mean it is the most costly.

To give you an example, a number of years ago, a client asked me to mail a somehow heavy box with printed matters.

Person declined adding insurance to the shipping.

A week or so later, I learned that the box had arrived not just damaged but empty.

Boite serge

I then learned that box contained an original book in multiple copies put together by my client, not an off the shelf publisher's creation.

Had I known that from the get go, I would have insisted on package being insured.

Client had to get all these 'books' reprinted at a cost of a few hundred dollars.

Since delivery was time sensitive by the time the second print was ready, I delivered that batch in person.

Sealed, insured, delivered! for Concierge Mondays # 7


Holly Holly Best Food Writing 2016 and The Hungover Cookbook, Book Distancing Number 4, Win 2 Books at Once

Holly holly, Best Food Writing 2016 and The Hungover Cookbook, make the cut for Book Distancing Number 4.

Each Giveaway is a Twofer, book cleaning before Spring.

First, all words, no illustrations, Best Food Writing 2016 (Da Capo Press) edited by Holly Hughes and featuring pieces by Todd Kliman, Dianne Jacobs and Oliver Sacks to name a few...

Best food writing 2016

Second, The Hungover Cookbook (Clarkson Potter, 2010) by Milton Crawford, title says it all

Hungover cookbook

Answer this question, and you win, first come first serve 

-Question: Name writer who called a hangover 'The Sewing Machine'

First come first serve.

E-mail your answers to: s.ls [at] mediterraneanworkandplay [dot] com

Book Distancing Number 4, Friday Giveaway, 


Get a Grande 'Polissonne' for 20 Euros at Maison des Vins du Minervois, Round and Carnal

When in France and whenever possible, I like to visit the local 'Maison des Vins' to taste and select a dozen or so bottles from the local producers always at 'wine lover' friendly prices.

My favorite so far have been the Gaillac and Angers outlets.

Next on my list I hope, when I don't know, should be Maison des Vins du Minervois ,  35 quai des tonneliers in Homps (Aude), near Canal du Midi.

Vin du minervois

I noted their selection of Magnums, including 'La Polissonne', a Grenache Gris-Roussanne white blend (2019) from Domaine JP Charpentier, round and carnal in the mouth according to tasting notes from La Maison.

(* Photo from Maison des Vins du Minervois Facebook Page)