Sausage Fajitas with Red Beans and Sage Sour Cream

Sausage Fajitas

Y’all, 2013 was an incredible year; I learned a lot. But I have such high expectations for 2014 to be even better!

One of my resolutions for LuvCooks is to focus on the incredible culinary talent, resources, and ingredients we have around us. There are so many inspiring people in this world, and I want you to meet them and their recipes.

Granted, some of these people I do not personally know, but I want to (and may or may not have stalked them on the internet). Ree Drummond, Maggie (my former high school lunch lady who opened her own diner in my hometown and makes cinnamon rolls that are as big as your face) and John T. Edge, here we come! These are the people- new friends, old acquaintances, and like they say in the South- “your momma and them”- that I want you to know about.  My goal is to showcase their recipes, talent, and heart for the food we love.

Also (I will miiissss youuuu Oreoooooos) for the next three months, I am trying to eat as little processed food as possible. This stems from feeling a bit like I am spiting Mother Nature with the amount of wonderful produce we have in the South. ‘Nuff said.

I can’t think of a more fitting way to begin this culinary journey than to start with Deramus Family Sausage in Booth, Alabama. I have been eating Deramus sausage since I was a wee girl, dancing to Paula Abdul and waking up to the smell of savory sausage browning on the weekends. I will never forget the hand-written thank-you notes we received in the mail from Mrs. Deramus after ordering their product. The flavor and ingredients the Deramus family uses is unparalleled in the sausage business, and if you talk with the head of production, Herb Murray, he will tell you that their secret ingredient- the force that makes their sausage delicious, prevents heart burn and all around makes the sausage-eating wonderful- is a specially-grown sage that only they know about. In fact, when Mr. Deramus (Herb’s stepfather) first started making sausage, he was sent to Germany during World War II and put in charge of livestock. While there he discovered the secret ingredient to delicious German sausage (their blend of sage) and came back to the Southern States on a mission to find that herb and recreate it for himself.

Since Herb’s favorite way to eat his sausage is sautéed with bell peppers and onions, below is my own spin on the Deramus family tradition. Using Creole seasoning and liquid smoke instead of fajita seasoning ups the flavor ante to accompany the hot sausage. Red beans round out the Creole flavor line up, and the sage sour cream offers a welcome cool-down, using the Deramus’ signature ingredient to finish it off.

These fajitas are perfect for a warm night in, and while you are eating them, I suggest you go on over to Deramus’ website and order more. You will be greeted by Herb’s voice on the telephone- he handles all calls and customers- and I promise that you won’t be able to help but fall in love with him and his product (and a hand-written thank-you note or two).

Sausage Fajitas with Sage Sour Cream

What You Will Need

  • 2 links Deramus Family hot sausage, halved lengthwise and sliced into 1/2 inch half-moons
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 green bell peppers, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon creole seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 6 corn tortillas

What You Will Do

1. Heat a large cast iron skillet on medium heat for a minute or so.

2. In the cast iron skillet, add your sausage slices and brown sausage about one to two minutes each side, until they are lightly browned on each side. Make sure and watch these as they cook quickly and you want to keep them just a bit crisp.

3. Once your sausage is cooked, use a slotted spoon to place the pieces on a paper-towel lined plate. Pour out all but about 1 tablespoon of the sausage drippings. (Save the extra grease; this stuff is gold! I put mine in a container to use for future cornbread.)

4. Place your skillet with one tablespoon drippings back onto the heat and turn up to medium-high. Add sliced onion and pepper and cook for about five minutes, stirring occasionally; you want the veggies a bit softer than raw. Add creole seasoning and liquid smoke; cook about five minutes more. Watch your veggies to make sure they stay on the crisp-and not limp-side.

5. Once the veggies are cooked, transfer them to a plate and heat your tortillas. I prefer to put each tortilla back into the cast iron skillet for a minute or so on each side until they are warmed through and light brown on the edges. Or, you can spray cooking spray between each tortilla, pile them up, wrap them in aluminum foil, and heat them up in a 300 degree oven until warmed through.

6. Top each warmed tortilla with sausage, fajita mixture, red beans, and sage sour cream. Wrap up and dig-in!

For the Red Beans (This recipe is adapted from My Daily Moment) I always like homemade beans better than the canned variety.

What You Will Need

  • 1 lb. dry red beans
  • 2 qt. water
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp. garlic, chopped (about 6-7 large cloves)
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • Creole seasoning, to taste

What You Will Do

1. Pick through beans to remove the ones that look funky or broken.

2. Rinse the beans rinse thoroughly, and put them in a large Dutch oven pot with enough water to cover by about an inch. Bring them to a rolling boil for ten minutes, then drain and rinse the beans again.

3. Pour the old bean water out of your Dutch oven, rinse it, then add boiled beans, water, onion, celery, and bay leaves to the pan. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook over low heat for about 1 1/2 hours or until beans are tender. Stir.

5. Mash some of the hot beans against the side of your pan. Add green pepper, garlic, thyme, salt, and black pepper.

6. Cook uncovered over low heat until creamy, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves.  Add a large dash of Creole seasoning to taste.

For the Sage Sour Cream

What You Will Need

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp dried sage (or to taste, depending on how sage-y you like things)

What You Will Do

1. In a small bowl, whisk sour cream with dried sage until combined.