Sautée Sauce for Shrimp or Fish

That's just fine! I'm not here to judge. But last week I freestyled a recipe for barbecued shrimp in the New Orleans tradition, and now it's all I want to eat. Maybe if you cook it, you will feel the same. Wednesdays are no-recipe recipe days, after all. Follow your gut. (Or, hey, cook spaghetti with fried eggs.)

In New Orleans, barbecued shrimp aren't cooked on a grill. They're sautéed with salt and pepper, then tossed in a sauce of butter-mounted Worcestershire sauce with lemon, sometimes with a splash of cream. I didn't have shrimp, though, and anyway my kids don't like shrimp. I had about a pound of fluke, a fillet per person.

So I cranked the oven to 450 and made the sauce on the stovetop: diced shallots sautéed in butter, a healthy quarter-cup or so of Worcestershire sauce, a little thyme, paprika and cayenne, some salt -- and then a whole lot more butter, cut into the pan a knob at a time and whisked into velvet. I added that splash of cream. And then roasted the fish on a greased pan under a shower of salt and pepper and served it on a warm platter with the sauce spooned over the top. Rice, broccoli and plenty of French bread on the side for mopping up.

This was really good, really rich, really the opposite of I'm-exhausted cooking, and maybe it will bring some joy into your kitchen this evening or on some evening soon. (If it does, post a photograph somewhere with the hashtag #NYTCooking. We'll track it down.)

By Sam Sifton, "What to Cook Right Now", The New York Times, Wednesday, May 30, 2018.