Tortas Ahogadas & Margaritas!

Yesterday, September 16th was Mexican Independence Day–celebrating 200 years of independence! On September 15, 1810, el Grito de Dolores or “Cry of Dolores” was instigated by Hidalgo who ordered the church bells to be rung to address his people, who stated:

“My children: a new dispensation comes to us today. Will you receive it? Will you free yourselves? Will you recover the lands stolen by three hundred years ago from your forefathers by the hated Spaniards? We must act at once… Will you defend your religion and your rights as true patriots? Long live our Lady of Guadalupe! Death to bad government! Death to the gachupines!”

And how can you celebrate this day without delicious Mexican food!  I decided to make a classic dish native to Jalisco. More specifically, Guadalajara, my home town. Tortas Ahogadas, or “drowned sandwiches” , are delicious spicy sandwiches thought to be a cure for hangovers. They are made from “bolillos” (hard french bread style) filled with beans and “carnitas” (pork), and then it’s drenched with a very mild tomato salsa AND a very spicy chile de arbol salsa. However, since Mark nor my brother Danny like carnitas they requested shredded chicken tortas, which is fine by me since it’s much easier to prepare.  And for me, I came up with a chile relleno torta which was delicious!

To make this meal you will have to visit your local mexican store.  There you will find the “bolillos” or “birote” (hard bread), and you can also buy already made “carnitas” if you don’t want to take the time to cook it yourself.

We also can’t have a Mexican party without the Tequila!  I made some delicious Margaritas implementing the “brazilian lemonade” method (made famous my Tucanos). Entire limes are blended together along with sweetened condensed milk, triple sec, tequila, and ice.  You can also get creative and add guava or frozen fruit to the drinks. Yum!

Tortas Ahogadas Ingredients:

  • Bolillos (french-bread style with a crunchy outside to prevent bread from getting soggy). Toast bread before serving if it’s hot hard enough.
  • Tomato sauce, recipe below
  • Spicy chile de arbol sauce, recipe below
  • Beans
  • Avocado
  • Red onions in vinegar, recipe below
  • Filling (either carnitas, your favorite shredded meat, or a veggie option. We used shredded chicken and chile relleno).

Tomato Sauce Ingredients:

  • 4 tomatoes, boiled until soft + about 1/3 c. of water from the tomatoes
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Oregano
  • Cumin
  • Pepper
  • Salt

Directions: Blend everything together and strain the salsa

Spicy Torta Sauce Ingredients:

  • About 2 big handfuls chiles de arbol, boiled until soft + about 1/3 c. of cooking liquid
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 onion
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp lime juice
  • salt

Directions: Blend everything together and strain. Set aside

Pickled Onions Ingredients:

  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • Vinegar (white or apple cider, or pineapple)
  • Lime juice
  • Salt + pepper

Marinate for 1 hour

Veggie option: Chile Relleno Torta without the egg batter

Chile Relleno Ingredients:

  • Chile Pasilla
  • Oaxaca cheese (or mozzarella)

Directions: Broil chile until the outside is burnt. Make sure to turn the chile, it should only take about 4 minutes. Remove from oven and peel off skin, rinse under cold water.  Slice it open and remove the seeds.  Fill with cheese and bake until cheese melts.


Dessert Margaritas!


  • Lime (wash and cut off ends. Then cut in 4th’s and blend) –about 2
  • Bit of Water
  • Sweetened condensed milk
  • Triple sec
  • Tequila
  • Lots of Ice
  • Fruit of choice (optional)
  • Sugar for glass rim

Directions: Blend washed limes (with ends cut off) with a little water. Strain and place juice back in blender.  Add rest of ingredients. Serve immediately. (Don’t save leftovers because lime peel with make it bitter if it sits too long).

Note: I didn’t measure ingredients…I just added until I liked the flavor.  But when I make this again (hopefully soon), I will pay attention to measurements 🙂


6 Responses to “Tortas Ahogadas & Margaritas!”

  1. Happy Independence Day! I absolutely adore bolillos! I visited a friend in central Mexico one summer and we’d walk to the bakery every morning to get a bag of fresh, warm bread and have most of it eaten by the time we got back to his house.

    The sandwich and drinks look like the perfect way to celebrate this special day. Thank you for sharing them and it with us.

  2. Hija esas tortas mmmm se ven deliciosas! Gracias ya se que boy a cocinar manana domingo. porque quiza estemos un poco crudos! (hangover) ojala que nos queden tan ricas como las tuyas!

  3. Susana Cueva-Lopez Says:

    I made the Dessert Margaritas
    and they were so GOOD!
    We loved it!

  4. Wow! Everything looks wonderful, but those margaritas look fantastic! Love the glasses too!

  5. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE tortas and just saw this version on food network with the broth. I can’t wait to try!

  6. magicofspice Says:

    Would love to try the chili reno version…and love the margaritas 🙂

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