Fry up some French fries with this sparkling rosé
Domaine Carneros by Taittinger NV Cuvee de la Pompadour Carneros Brut Rosé ($44) is a gentle beauty that leaves a lasting impression. It’s a bit coy at first, offering up subtle suggestions of strawberries and Seville oranges. Soon, these high notes give way to filaments of yeast, hazelnut and wet river rocks. The texture is creamy, with a mouth-filling mousse that resolves into a bright, crisp finish.
This sparkler is excellent with spring foods, from delicate radishes and fresh goat cheese to fresh favas, spring garlic, sorrel and even asparagus.
It’s a natural with oysters on the half shell and delicious with a well-made paté. It is also outstanding with such morning dishes as scrambled eggs, eggs Benedict, waffles slathered with good butter and real maple syrup and roasted strawberries with homemade scones, just in case you’re cooking up something for Mother’s Day this Sunday morning.
You can’t fail with a flute of this wine alongside.
This pretty quaffer is also ideal for one of my favorite indulgences, homemade French fries with aïoli, something most of us typically enjoy in a restaurant.
But many of us have more time on our hands these days and, given that fries don’t really travel well for take-out, why not make them at home? This technique will produce excellent results; just be sure to have the sparkler well chilled when the fries are ready.
Then sit outside, watching the night sky and savoring the bounce of the minuscule bubbles on your palate.
Perfect French Fries
Makes 2 to 3 servings
1 ½ pounds (3 to 4) organic potatoes, either Kennebec or russets
1 quart peanut oil, corn oil or olive oil
— Kosher salt
— Homemade aïoli, ketchup, mustard or other condiments of choice
Scrub the potatoes well but do not peel them.
Set the potatoes on a clean work surface and use a sharp knife to cut them into ⅜-inch-wide lengthwise slices.
Cut the slices into ⅜-inch-wide strips. Put the potatoes into a large bowl, cover with water and refrigerate for at least two hours. Overnight is best.
To cook the potatoes the first time, drain them thoroughly and dry them on tea towels (not on paper towels, which can tear and stick to the potatoes).
Pour the oil into a deep, heavy saucepan set over medium heat and bring the temperature to 350 degrees. Carefully submerge a handful of potatoes in the hot oil and agitate gently with a thin wooden spoon so that they do not stick to each other.
Fry for 4 minutes and use a slotted spoon to transfer them to absorbent paper, such as a brown grocery bag.
The potatoes should be completely tender but without color; if they darken, turn down the heat and wait a few minutes before continuing. Repeat until all the potatoes have been fried.
Remove the oil from the heat. Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet and let cool for at least 15 minutes and as long as two hours.
To finish the fries, return the saucepan to medium heat. When the oil reaches 360 degrees, fry the potatoes in batches for a second time until they are golden brown and just crisp, from 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer each batch to absorbent paper before adding a second batch.
Season with salt and enjoy right away, with your preferred condiment alongside.
Note: You may cool the oil, strain it, store it in a cool, dark place and use it to make another batch of fries.