From Cookware to Cuisine, Charleston’s Smithey Ironware is on Fire
Novemberber 2023 Issue
by Lindsay Gifford
Information, Recipes and Photography provided by Smithey Ironware
The South Carolina Lowcountry has loads to offer from fresh seafood and fun festivals to beautiful Southern traditions—all of which our sister city, Charleston has in spades. An easy day trip (or weekend getaway), Charleston’s ever-evolving food scene is vibrant and alive. However, there’s one Charleston-based company taking food to a whole new level—Smithey Ironware.
Creating US made, hand-forged, modern heirloom cookware is the name of their game. Simple, sleek, and beautifully crafted, their classic, vintage-styled pieces harness modern technology and processes to create a functional piece of art, crafted for your kitchen (or campfire).
Founded by Isaac Morton, Smithey Ironware is a backyard story. Morton hatched the idea for Smithey while tinkering around his woodshed admiring the smooth surfaces and timeless logos design of vintage ironware. Here, he developed an expertise in restoring beautiful old cookware pieces, which he would then gift to friends and family. After years of studying collector’s books and bird-dogging rusty old pieces to restore to their 1890s/19th century glory, the prospect of creating something new piqued his curiosity, and Smithey Ironware was born.
Forged by happenstance, Smithey partnered with renowned Charleston blacksmith (and Naval base neighbor) Robert Thomas in late 2018 to expand into carbon steel cookware. Each piece of the farmhouse collection is individually hand-forged and visually unique, while sharing core design features true to the Smithey name. The resulting cookware is as beautiful as it is functional.
The Smithey team us proud of what they make. Their cookware is designed and crafted in the USA, by a talented team of craftsmen and craftswomen who individually inspect every Smithey multiple times throughout the manufacturing process. They guarantee the quality of every Smithey for life. They intend for your Smithey to become a cherished possession, and are there to support you in your cooking journey. In fact, their mantra is: "Use it well."
“I started Smithey with some simple thoughts about what constitutes a piece of premium cast iron cookware. Surface smoothness, weight, wall angle, handles, and pour-spout dimensions. These elements are important in order for you to enjoy a first-rate piece of cookware” said Isaac Morton. “We only ask that you use your Smithey to create meals and memories of your own. Put it to work! And when it’s time to pass your Smithey to the next generation, you’ll be all the wiser.”
Ready for your very own Smithey cookware? You can find it locally at Fetch Mkt, near Callawassie Island on Highway 170. For now, turn the page to enjoy delicious, crafted cuisine created especially for Smithey Ironware’s cookware. And find more robust recipes on their website www.smithey.com.
Caramel Apple Streusel Pie
Makes: one 10” Pie
1/4 cup Almond flour
1/4 cup all-purpose Flour
1/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup sliced Almonds
6 Tbsps unsalted butter, cold, cut into cubes
1/2 cup Brown sugar
1 tsp Lemon juice
2 Tbsps unsalted Butter
2 tsps Cinnamon
2 Tbsps Cornstarch
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 Pie crust, store-bought or homemade
6 large Gala or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, sliced ¼-inch thin
Preheat oven to 375˚F. For the Streusel: Combine almond flour, all-purpose flour, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add butter and mix on medium speed until butter has been incorporated into dry ingredients in large chunks. Stir in almonds. Chill until ready to use.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together sliced apples, brown sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Let sit for 30 minutes. Drain apples into a colander set over another mixing bowl, reserving the liquid released (you should have about ⅓ cup). Place the reserved liquid in a small skillet or saucepan and cook until thick and bubbly and reduced to just a few tablespoons. Remove from heat and immediately stir in butter. Add this apple caramel sauce back to the bowl of sliced apples and stir to combine. Stir in cinnamon, cornstarch, and vanilla.
Roll out pie crust and gently press into a No. 10 Cast Iron Skillet, shaping the edges as desired. Mound the caramel apple filling in the center and top with almond streusel. Place skillet on a baking sheet to catch any drippings. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until crust and topping are golden brown and caramel sauce bubbles up the sides, about 1 hour 30 minutes.
Chicken & Orzo Skillet
1 1/2 lbs. boneless, skinless Chicken thighs
1 Tbsp Garlic, finely chopped
3 Tbsps Olive oil, divided
1 pint Cherry tomatoes
1 cup (1/2 medium) Red onion, thinly sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
11/2 cups Orzo
3 cups Chicken broth
1 tsp Lemon zest
2 Tbsps Lemon juice
6 oz Feta, diced
1/4 cup fresh Dill, roughly chopped
1/4 cup fresh Parsley, roughly chopped
1/3 cup Green olives (such as Castelvetrano), halved
coarse Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 425˚F. Trim chicken thighs and cut into large bite-size pieces, about 2-inches. Rub with the minced garlic and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season generously with salt and pepper. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in the No. 12 Skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add chicken and sear until golden brown on all sides, about 3-5 minutes. (Work in batches if needed to avoid overcrowding the skillet). Remove chicken to a plate.
Add red onion, cherry tomatoes, and chili flakes to the skillet and cook until onions soften and tomatoes just start to burst. Stir in orzo and lightly toast, about 2 minutes. Return chicken and any accumulated juices to the skillet, then stir in chicken broth, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then carefully transfer the skillet to the oven. Cook until liquid is absorbed and chicken is cooked through, about 20-25 minutes. Remove from the oven and add feta, dill, parsley, and olives. Serve with additional red pepper flakes to taste.
Yields: 2 skillet cookies to serve 4
1/4 cup Sugar
1/3 cup dark Brown sugar
11/2 tsps vanilla extract
1/4 tsp baking soda
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
1/2 cup roughly chopped semisweet chocolate
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
4 oz (1 stick) unsalted Butter, at room temperature, plus more for the skillets
Coat two No. 6 Skillets with a thin layer of softened butter. Preheat oven to 375˚F. Combine 4 ounces softened butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until creamy, about 1-2 minutes. Turn the mixer off and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add egg and vanilla and beat on medium speed, just until incorporated. Scrape down the sides again.
In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and sea salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture and mix on low speed, just until incorporated. Remove bowl from the stand mixer. Using a spatula, fold in pecans, oats, coconut, and chocolate by hand. Divide dough evenly among prepared skillets. Transfer to the preheated oven and bake until golden brown and just cooked through, 23-25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then serve warm from the skillet.
To make ahead: Cookie dough can be made ahead through step 5. Cover tightly and refrigerate dough for up to 2 days. When you are ready to bake, bring out to room temperature for 15-20 minutes then bake as directed.
Maple Pecan Pie
1/2 cup Maple syrup
1/2 cup Dark brown sugar
1/2 cup Corn syrup
1/2 cup Butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1/2 tsp coarse Kosher salt
3/4 tsp Cinnamon
1 Tbsp Bourbon
3 Eggs, beaten
2 cups (8 oz) Pecans, roughly chopped
1 Pie crust, store-bought or homemade
Remove pie crust from refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature 5-10 minutes, until just pliable enough to roll. Roll into a large even circle about ¼-inch thick and 14 inches in diameter, dusting with a bit of flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Carefully lift dough into the skillet and gently press into the bottom and corners, leaving no air gaps. Fold the overhanging dough under to yield a thick border, then shape as desired with your fingers or a fork. Trim away excess dough. Dock dough all over with a fork and return to the refrigerator to chill for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Spray one side of a piece of foil or parchment paper with nonstick cooking spray and lay on top of the chilled dough. Fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove pie weights and foil or parchment and return skillet to the oven. Bake uncovered until crust is cooked through and lightly golden in color, about 5-10 minutes longer. Reduce oven temperature to 300˚F.
In a large bowl, stir together melted butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, corn syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, bourbon, salt, and eggs. Scatter pecans into the warm pre-cooked pie crust. Carefully pour the filling over the top. Bake in preheated oven for 60-75 minutes, just until set. Allow to cool completely in the skillet before slicing.
No. 8 Skillet Mac and Cheese
8 oz dry Pasta, such as macaroni or shells
1 thick slice Sourdough bread, crust removed
1 large clove Garlic, peeled and cut in half
1 tsp Thyme leaves, chopped
2 Tbsps Extra-virgin olive oil
4 Tbsps Butter, room-temperature, divided
2 Tbsps all-purpose Flour
3 cups whole Milk
coarse Kosher salt
Black pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
11/2 cups (6oz) grated sharp white Cheddar, divided
11/2 cups (6oz) grated Gruyere, divided
3/4 cups (3/4oz) grated Parmesan, divided
Preheat oven to 450˚F. Line a sheet pan with foil and set aside. Cook the pasta: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and stir a few times to make sure it doesn’t stick to the pot. Cook just until al dente, about 5-7 minutes depending on the type of pasta. Drain and set aside.
Make the breadcrumbs: Cut bread into large pieces and add to the bowl of a food processor. Add garlic and pulse until finely chopped and garlic is scattered throughout, about 30 seconds. Stir in thyme, ¼ cup of the parmesan, and moisten with olive oil. Set aside.
Make the sauce: Gently warm milk in a small pot on the stove or in microwave. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add flour and stir until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Slowly whisk in warmed milk, stirring well to avoid clumps. Season with salt and cayenne and bring to a gentle simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Remove pot from heat and immediately stir in 1 cup of the cheddar, 1 cup of the gruyere, and remaining ½ cup parmesan. Stir until melted, then taste and season again with salt and black pepper.
Optional: To achieve an incredibly silky, creamy texture, purée sauce using an immersion blender or transfer to a blender for about one minute. Toss in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter while you purée the sauce.
Combine and bake: In a large bowl or in the same pot, combine noodles and cheese sauce. Fold in remaining ½ cup cheddar and ½ cup gruyere. Using a ladle or cup measure, transfer noodles and sauce to your 8-inch iron skillet (it will hold about 4 heaping cups and look very saucy). Top with seasoned breadcrumbs. Place skillet on the prepared sheet pan and bake until sauce is bubbling and breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
Spinach & Artichoke Dip with Jumbo Lump Crab
10 oz frozen Spinach, chopped
1 (14 oz) can quartered Artichoke hearts
2 tsps Olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/4 tsp crushed Red pepper
4 oz Cream cheese
1/4 cup Sour cream
1/4 cup Mayonnaise
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
3 oz jumbo lump crab meat, picked over carefully for shells (optional)
Coarse kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
Crostini, crackers or raw vegetables, for serving
Thaw frozen spinach fully and squeeze dry. Preheat oven to broil. Drain and rinse artichokes. Pat dry and chop into 1/2-inch pieces.
Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add shallot and cook, stirring until softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add crushed red pepper, thawed spinach, and prepared artichokes. Season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until any residual liquid from the spinach has evaporated and vegetables are seasoned and warmed through, about 5 minutes.
Turn off heat. Fold in cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese. Stir until melted. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Gently fold in crab, if using, careful not to break up the large lumps.
Mound the warm dip into the No. 6 Skillet and top with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Broil until cheese is melted and golden brown and dip is bubbling hot, 2-3 minutes. (Watch carefully so it does not burn.)
Remove from broiler and serve hot with crostini, crackers, or raw vegetables.
Smithey’s Favorite Pot Roast
2 Tbsps Canola oil
coarse Kosher salt, to taste
2 Tbsps unsalted Butter
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 Onions, minced (about 3 cups)
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard, plus more for serving
1 Tbsp Garlic, chopped
6 lbs. boneless Chuck roast (1 large or 2 medium pieces)
2 Tbsps Tomato paste
3 leeks, washed well and cut crosswise into large coins
1 Tbsp all-purpose Flour
1 1/2 lbs. Carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
3 cups Beef broth
4 sprigs fresh Thyme whole, plus 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 lbs. baby Dutch gold potatoes, large ones halved, smaller ones left whole
2 sprigs Rosemary whole, plus 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
Preheat oven to 325˚F. Trim beef of any excess fat or sinew and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. Pre-heat empty 7¼-qt Dutch Oven over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add oil, then add beef and sear until dark brown on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate and reduce heat to medium low.
Add butter and onions and cook until soft, stirring to scrape up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan, about 8-10 minutes. Stir in garlic and tomato paste and cook 2-3 minutes, until tomato paste starts to caramelize. Stir in flour and cook for 1 minute longer, then stir in beef broth. Tie together whole sprigs of thyme and rosemary with butcher’s twine and add to the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add prepared vegetables and seared beef to the pot. Return to a simmer, then cover and transfer Dutch Oven to the preheated oven. Cook covered until vegetables are tender and meat just begins to shred when prodded with a fork, about 3 ½ hours. Remove the lid and return pot to the oven uncovered for an additional 30 minutes. Remove pot from oven and transfer meat and vegetables to a platter. Discard the herb bundle.
Place the Dutch Oven on the stovetop over medium-high heat and bring the sauce to a boil. Add chopped thyme and rosemary and simmer until sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 10-15 minutes. Stir in Dijon mustard and season with salt and pepper as needed. Spoon sauce over the platter of meat and vegetables and serve with additional sauce and mustard on the side.
Shrimp, Ham and Okra Purloo
1 cup Onion, diced 2 Tbsps plus 1 tsp Olive oil, divided
2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (3 oz) diced smoked country Ham, such as Benton’s
1 1/2 cups Carolina Gold Rice
1 (14 oz) can Fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
pinch Cayenne, or to taste
2 cups Okra (from about 1/2 lb), thickly sliced
1 tsp fresh Thyme leaves
1 1/2 cups Chicken, vegetable, or seafood broth
1 Tbsp Chives, finely chopped
1/2 lb. large Shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 Tbsp Parsley, finely chopped
Hot sauce, to serve
coarse Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Place rice in a medium bowl. Rinse under cold running water until the water runs clear, about 2-3 minutes, agitating the grains with your fingers. Drain.
Heat a 3.5-qt Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and diced ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat renders and the ham begins to turn crisp and brown around the edges, about 3-4 minutes. Add sliced okra and cook over medium heat, stirring only once or twice, until lightly charred and beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in drained tomatoes and about 1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until tomatoes are soft and jammy, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in rice until evenly coated, then add broth. Bring to a simmer, then taste and season with pepper and additional salt if necessary. Cover with the lid and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook until rice is tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and devein shrimp. Place in a bowl and toss with remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil, cayenne, thyme; season with salt and pepper. When rice is cooked, remove the lid and scatter shrimp across the top. Immediately replace the lid and return the pot to the oven until shrimp are cooked through, about 6-8 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and fluff rice with a fork, gently tossing everything together. Garnish with chives and parsley and serve with your favorite hot sauce.
Green Bean Casserole
2-3 thick slices good Bread
1 tsp Thyme leaves, chopped
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil, divided
3/4 cup Bacon, finely diced
1/2 cup Shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbsps Butter
1 cup Turkey or chicken stock
2 oz fresh Goat cheese
1 lb French green beans (haricots verts), stems trimmed
Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup thinly sliced Leeks, washed well and dried
4 oz Shiitake mushrooms, quartered
4 oz Cremini mushrooms, quartered
Blanch the green beans: In a large pot, bring 2 quarts of water and 2 tablespoons salt to a boil. Fill a mixing bowl with ice water and set aside. Add green beans to the boiling water and cook until tender but still crisp, about 11/2 to 2 minutes. Remove from boiling water and transfer directly to the prepared ice bath. Once cool, drain and pat dry. Cut green beans into 2-inch pieces and reserve.
Tear the bread into small rustic pieces, somewhere between the size of large breadcrumbs and small croutons. Place in a small bowl and add thyme and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Gently massage together with your fingertips. Reserve.
Off the heat, stir together bacon, shallots, and 1 teaspoon olive oil in the Carbon Steel Oval Roaster. Set Oval Roaster on the stove and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring often, until bacon fat has rendered and shallots and bacon are both brown and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel. Reserve.
Preheat the oven to broil. Add butter to the bacon drippings in the Oval Roaster and swirl over medium heat until foamy. Add leeks and mushrooms and season with salt. Cook over medium heat until leeks are soft and mushrooms release their juices, about 5 minutes. Stir in turkey stock and simmer for 2 minutes until slightly reduced. Fold in reserved green beans and stir together until warm throughout. Season with salt and pepper. Crumble goat cheese over the vegetables and top with torn bread. Transfer Oval Roaster to the oven and broil until cheese begins to melt and croutons are golden brown and crispy, about 90 seconds. (Watch carefully so bread does not burn!) Remove from broiler and garnish with reserved crispy bacon and shallots. Serve immediately.