To this day, my favorite cooking utensil is cast iron. I know, it has fallen out of favor in recent times due to the proliferation of Teflon and other non-stick appliances. I can understand the convenience of quick cleaning of a pot or pan. Even aluminum and stainless steel sometimes require a degree of elbow grease to get the thing clean. Point taken. But cast-iron is not that hard to clean. Just wash in hot soapy water, using a scrub brush or sponge. Yes, you can use soap on cast-iron. Today's gentle, modern soaps will not strip away the pan's seasoning. I've been using soap to wash my cast-iron for years, and they're as beautiful as ever. After washing, wipe clean, and store. Some recommend rubbing a thin film of oil that's been heated for a couple of minutes.They say it keeps better. My experience is that, after being completely wiped dry, the thing will store forever with or without the film of oil. Some folks recommend cleaning cast-iron with a hefty dose of  kosher salt, and then scrub clean. Honestly, I've never tried it this way but, if it works, more power to you.

The other thing I enjoy is a good steak now and then. And cast-iron is perfect for cooking steak. It's fast, easy, and the results are sublime. The union of two perfect ensembles. Note that with the recipe given, any good cut of meat will do---porterhouse, flatiron, flank steak, whatever. But if you're short on change and want to do chuck steak, go right ahead.

This time I served the steak with that perennial favorite, potatoes. In this case, parsley potatoes. Simple: boil 2-3 large potatoes until tender, and cut into chunks. Mix 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice with 1/4 fresh chopped parsley. Toss potatoes with parsley-lemon juice mixture, and you're set.

1 1/4 pounds of your favorite steak, about 1-inch thick
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1.  Wash steak under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Season steak with salt, pepper, garlic powder and oregano.
2. Heat oil in a large 10-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add steak and cook 3 minutes. Flip over and cook 2-3 minutes more for medium rare. Remove from heat and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice steak and serve with potatoes.
    Yield: 4 servings.