Have you ever heard of a marmitout? (No, we don't know how to pronounce it either.) We first saw this piece of cookware in a British newspaper article. It sounded most intriguing, and when we discovered a little more about it we grew convinced that this is the perfect, most elemental piece of cookware you can own.
A marmitout is actually very simple: It's a cooking pot with a frying pan lid. The lid can be used separately to fry and sauté, and at least theoretically the pot could also be used as a lid for the frying pan.
Seeing as we rarely need more than a frying pan and small pot for basic cooking, this seemed like the most ideal piece of cookware. It would be the perfect gift for new grads and those setting up a kitchen for the first time, too.
We couldn't find out much about the marmitout, though; it seems to be most popular in England and France. Le Creuset used to make one but it's since been discontinued. Nigella also makes one but it is only available in England. Here's one other at a British website.
Fortunately, however, it appears that Lodge (our favorite cast iron) makes a similar Combo Cooker with a frying pan and pot that fit together.
• Original article: Does our wonderful combo pan still exist? at The Guardian
• Buy it: Lodge Logic Combo Cooker, $55.95 at Lodge
Related: Technique: Roasting in a Sauté Pan
(Images: All Up and On; Amazon)