Sour cream seems to be good in just about everything. I think there’s even a chocolate cake recipe that’s supposed to be really good. Half & Half (arf and arf) is good to thicken sauces or used anywhere milk is called for. Makes a good sausage gravy, hot chocolate, etc.
Garlic, butter, and onions are the “holy trinity”. Maybe common though definitely special.
Oh, umami is so much more than brothy & meaty. I’m further clarifying how vegemite adds to my appreciation of umami. Call it ‘meaty’ but that’s too generic for how my taste buds interpret it when umami is presented in its vegemite form. To me it’s beefy, salty, like the concentrated drippings in the bottom of the pot roast pan, or the skillet.
The pure umami taste of MSG found in Accent is quite different; lacking the salt sensation, and I even consider it a stretch to consider it ‘meaty’. Savory, yes. But not meaty. While the umami presented by soy sauce definitely gives us flavors of salt and meat, it does not seem beefy to me. The umami aspects of roquefort and parmesan cheeses on the other hand, are nothing like those found in soy or yeast extracts. And many nuts, especially walnuts are also high in MSG, yet give a completely different flavor dimension.
Trying to restrict describing umami’s flavor/experience to “brothy” or “meaty” seems to me to be far too limiting, when discussing gustatory pleasures.
Yogurt, especially the thick Greek stuff, enriches/zings up all kinds of recipes. I use it in place of cream or sour cream, and it adds a yumminess that’s hard to define in the finished dish. It beats the heck out of buttermilk in recipes, too.
A few drops of lemon juice will add brightness to almost any savory cooked dish. Likewise, a few drops of something sweet (I use agave nectar - I always have a bottle on the counter) will balance out an otherwise sharp or flat-tasting sauce.
Red wine vinegar to chili.
Also, if you are cooking in a competition where the public decides on the winner (rather than a panel of judges) add a little bit of sugar to just about any damn thing your making.
Half a jar? Are they nuts? It’s not peanut butter, for Og’s sake. They must have had it in for you. That’s like giving someone a glass of hot sauce instead of a few dashes, or 4 oz. of fish sauce to sip on.