Want to transform humdrum dinners into mealtime magic? It's easy! Hit the kitchen armed with these genius tips and simple recipes from our Every Day experts, and your friends and family will wonder if you went to cooking school on your lunch break!

Lesson 4: Fix Flavor Fast

It's happened to all of us: That pot of soup, piece of fish or bowl of pasta is just plain boring. Don't worry! These four simple ingredients can turn a one-note dish into a plate-licking hit in a matter of minutes.

Salmon with Balsamic Glaze
Credit: Photography by Christopher Testani

1. Balsamic Glaze

Cooking down balsamic vinegar gives it a sweet-tart taste and syrupy texture that adds instant intrigue to foods. It's easy: In a medium skillet, simmer 1⁄4 inch balsamic vinegar over high until slightly reduced, 3 to 4 minutes. Or look for premade glaze at the supermarket. Stir into tomato sauce or drizzle over pizza, salads or fish (like the Salmon with Balsamic Glaze pictured above!).

2. Parmesan Rind

Keep the hard ends of your cheese wedges in a plastic bag in the freezer, then plop one into soup, stock or stew to add a salty, savory richness.

3. Lemons and Limes

A squeeze of citrus will brighten up the flavor of a dish and wake up your taste buds. Try lemon on roasted chicken or lime on grilled veggies.

4. Brown Butter

Cooking butter turns it into a rich, nutty sauce. Melt one stick in a small pan over medium. Cook until the foam subsides and the butter turns golden brown. (Watch it carefully.) Pour the butter into a bowl, discarding the dark-brown milk solids at the bottom of the pan. Toss with pasta or spoon over pork chops.

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