Regarding some earlier posts, about worcestershire sauce and especially SUGAR:
Throwing a little (not a lot!) of worcestershire sauce into meat salads (tuna, beef, pork, chicken, even egg salad) is really good. The trick is not to overdo it and give it time to soak in to the ingredients. Tuna takes only a little bit, chicken can handle a little more, and beef can take plenty. It is hit-and-miss on pork and lamb recipes, depending on the other spices, and I wouldn't use it with Salmon or a more delicate fish. You can also drizzle a little honey into many ground meat salads (especially poultry). Common commercially prepared steak sauces are basically worcestershire sauce, ketchup, sugar syrup, and a bit of soy sauce or anchovy paste.
Sugar (much of this also applies to honey):
I throw some sugar into most of my soups, sauces, gravies, and batters. It brings out the flavors of the vegetables and makes cream soups a little smoother and richer. I wouldn't do a marinara or spaghetti sauce without it. It's a real boon to anything spicy, and may replace some of the salt. You can sugar the water used to boil corn (awesome!) or other vegetables or pasta instead of / addition to the salt.
When I started doing chef duties for a local family restaurant, tricks like these led to record business levels. My cream of potato soup actually had to be served EVERY sunday or there would be terrible complaints. Some people came in every week specifically for that, and would nag the servers to try to get it served during breakfast. A little sugar in almost any casserole will make it mysteriously more flavorful, especially if there is any grain product involved (like pasta). Heat tends to sour carbohydrates and starches over time, so if you need to keep something hot to serve over a period of hours, as restaurants do, then a little sugar is magic at keeping the taste fresh. It also counteracts the tendency of dried herbs and spices to be more bitter or sour than their fresh counterparts, and compensates for cole slaw's natural fermentation souring process, even refrigerated (fresh cabbage naturally contains lager-type brewing yeasts that will ferment sugars even below 40°F / 5°C).
Sugar is absolutely magical with any recipe that uses dried garlic powder/granules. I used to roll some extra bread dough out nice and thin, sprinkle on garlic granules, dried basil flakes, and sugar; then roll it up, let it rise some, and bake it on a flat sheet pan; then cut it crosswise into spiral bread-biscuit sections. Huge hit.
In all of these examples, sugar is being used as a SPICE, not a bulk ingredient like in cookies. The dish does not have to become sweet, and in these applications you should not taste the sugar directly (unless you really want to), or you've made meat syrup. Sugar in small quantities acts like salt or MSG, sensitizing the taste buds and stimulating salivation, which makes everything taste richer and juicier. It makes gravies and sauces smoother in texture and more resistant to curdling or breaking. The owner of the restaurant I was helping was diabetic, and none of these dishes messed up his blood sugar levels. Most of the time, no one realized what I had done, thinking I was using some voodoo magic back there.
On the other hand, I make some (especially cajun) recipes that include rich stocks, cream sauces, hot peppers, garlic, or onions, where there may be much greater amounts of sugar (like 3/4 cup sugar/syrup to 6 chicken breasts, several jalepeno chilis, a couple onions, thickened by heavy cream and/or toasted cornmeal).
3/4 cup sugar and 1 cup water will make a nice cane syrup that you can add as a liquid ingredient with practically no dissolve time and no grainy texture. You can warm it a bit to get it to form the syrup quicker. Remember, if you add it to a recipe, that you are adding both sugar AND water.
For a deeper caramelizing flavor, you can heat sugar gently until it melts and browns for barbecue, stir-fry recipes, meat salads, drinks, coffee, and others. Darker caramels are more bitter and less sweet. There are a number of cautions on this, like don't pour liquids into melted/caramelizing sugar that is still hotter than boiling point of water, as you will get splattered with the kitchen equivalent of a napalm bomb explosion. Liquid sugar sticks to your skin and soaks in as it burns. Don't walk away from caramelizing sugar, as you will inevitably get distracted and end up with a heavy coating of nearly pure black carbon on your best saucepan forever. To store or dispense caramelized concentrate as a syrup, let it cool until it is definitely below boiling point of water, then add it to equal amount of hot water and stir it smooth, reheating some if needed.
Have fun, sweeties :)
In case you didn't realize it, I DO have a sense of humor. How about you?
"I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer... I will face my fear. I will let it pass over and through me, and when it has gone, only I will remain." --The Bene Gesserit
"Time is a spiral. Space is a curve. I know you get dizzy, but try not to lose your nerve." -- Neil Peart
"I'm not in the ship. I am the ship." -- River Tam
"The truth is simple. It's the lies that get complicated." -- me
"No matter where you go, there you are." --Buckaroo Banzai