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Try roasting it on a Caja China

We’d had a great day on the water. The bite was good, and we had boated a gorgeous pair of fat stripers, one 27 inches and the other just over 30. It seemed a shame to reduce them to fillets, so I didn’t. Scaling the hefty fish, then eviscerating them and removing the gills, I laid their graceful forms aside and reached for my phone to borrow a friend’s Caja China (pronounced: ka-ha cheena).

Four ways to cook the Bay’s favorite fish

What a year we’ve had for rockfish! In our fifth month of abundance, big fish are still just about everywhere in the mid-Bay, with anglers catching them using just about every method.     Eating fresh Chesapeake rockfish is one of the perks of living in the Tidewater. One of the many attributes of the fish is that its flavor can be influenced by the addition of easy-to-make sauces, which can give a fresh rockfish dinner a completely different taste each time you serve it.

A sweet ending to Maryland Buy Local

You ate all your locally raised vegetables, fruits, eggs and meat every day during Maryland Buy Local Week.     Now you can have dessert.     Naturally, it’s Maryland made, from the farmer to the chef to you.     At Governor Martin O’Malley’s sixth annual Buy Local Cookout, the sweetest thing on the menu was Chef Douglas Wetzel’s Gertrude’s Charolettetown Farm Ricotta Doughnuts with Peach Caramel Sauce.

Five ways to make sure the season’s favored fowl is full of flavor

Most of us will probably cook turkey for Thanksgiving; America’s national feast day is no time to scoff at custom. Some among us have tried; but we’re back among the faithful.     That’s because the season’s favored fowl need not be dull. We have plenty of choices, both in buying and cooking our bird.

Against Thanksgiving’s traditional main course, it’s the sides that add variety to the table

Your Thanksgiving feast is planned to perfection.         Well, almost.         If you’re still looking for last-minute inspiration, we offer three dishes that capitalize on the season’s local bounty to crown your Thanksgiving menu and give all at your table reason for thanks.

This month’s recipe from the 2011 Maryland Buy Local Cookbook

September 12’s full moon, a week after Labor Day, will bring another harvest of soft-shelled crabs. Likely you won’t have to wait that long, for some shedding occurs under all the phases of the moon.     For summer’s swansong recipe, we’ve chosen the Lily Pad Café’s Soft-Shell Crab Salad with Summer Squash, Heirloom Tomatoes and Roasted Garlic Tarragon Dressing from the 2011 Maryland Buy Local Cookbook.

Follow these local chefs out of the kitchen

Wilting weather is not dampening the prodigal enthusiasm of vine, branch and stalk.     Bursting into ripeness are apples, beans, cukes, eggplants, figs, grapes, honeydews, interesting squash, jalapenos, kohlrabi, limas, melons, nectarines, onions, peaches, root vegetables, sweet corn, tomato, varieties of hot and sweet peppers, watermelons, yams and sweet potatoes, zucchini.