Olive-oil

    Olive oil and balsamic vinegars can make a dramatic and tasteful complement to many recipes—maybe more so when cooking for the holidays.

    For example, when roasting a ham, spray it occasionally with any of the robust 100-percent extra virgin olive oils (Kalamata, Picual, Italiano, or Spoleto) offered by The Olive Tap in the Strip, and then brush on maple balsamic vinegar or hickory balsamic vinegar 20 minutes before it’s finished. Herb-roasted turkey using Tuscan Herb olive oil makes the turkey brown on the outside and juicy inside.

    In regard to lamb, a marinade of rosemary olive oil, mustard, garlic, and soy sauce really enhances the flavor.

    Try making your holiday cranberry sauce using one part orange juice and one part of either cranberry-walnut or cranberry-orange balsamic vinegar (usually one cup each of the vinegars and one cup or more of sugar—depends on how tart or sweet you like it); add a bag of fresh cranberries; bring to a boil, stirring; reduce heat and cook to desired thickness.

    Use the same cranberry balsamic vinegar for your salad, with or without a mild olive oil (Arbequina or Frantoio).

    Hersh Petrocelly and his wife Karen Jorgensen are owners of The Olive Tap shop in the Strip, located at 108 19th Street in the Pennsylvania Building. The Olive Tap offers over 70 extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars.