The cast iron skillet is the original gourmet cooking tool. Your grandmother used one, and so does Emeril. The chef's secret is that some dishes come out better using a $20 cast iron than a $200 super-stainless-copper pan. The fact is, it gets hotter and stays hotter, meat browns better, vegetables get sautéed rather than steamed, braised dishes benefit from the even heat, and dessert concoctions turn out with a yummy glaze that's to die for. The mother-daughter team behind this book, Sharon Kramis and Julie Kramis Hearne, have both worked on the cutting edge of the gourmet food world. But when they get together in their home kitchens, they often recall the recipes that have been in their family for generations such as Grandma Kramis' Irish Soda Bread. Their cookbook of 95 great recipes include many classics but also reflects the international fusion that has overtaken cooking along with the desire to use the best and the freshest ingredients. The black skillet can turn out both savory (Dungeness Crab Cakes with Tarragon Aioli, Grilled Prosciutto-Wrapped Radicchio with Balsamic Vinegar and Olive Oil) and sweet (Dutch Baby, Warm Pear Ginger Upside-down Cake). This warm-hearted cookbook expresses a sophisticated food sense with its blend of old and new. This is the cookware that moves effortlessly from the stovetop to the oven to the table. It even goes outdoors, as some of the recipes reveal. This collection of recipes--simple food, done well--invites all cooks to get reacquainted with the versatile cast iron skillet.