Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tortas Ahogadas/Drowned Sandwiches

I participated in a Recipe Exchange for the first time and the theme was "Regional". I sent off Granny's Quick Cobbler and received in exchange (ha, get it?) the recipe for Tortas Ahogadas. Let me just tell you, me and these sandwiches are cursed, but I am stubborn and would NOT give up. Being that this is a Tex-Mex recipe, I had some trouble finding the peppers. Of course, once I DID find them at a local Tienda de Mexicana, I got home only to find that I had bought TWO of the same types of peppers instead of the two different ones I thought I'd picked up. I will do this post a little differently than others and very much in the style of The Pioneer Woman Cooks.


3 Anaheim Chiles, dry…cleaned of seeds & membrane
3 Pasilla Chiles, dry…cleaned
1 Kilo (2-3 lb.) beef roast
1 onion, coarsely chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic
Salt & Pepper, to taste
Teaspoon of oregano
10 sun-dried tomatoes
1-3 canned chipotle chilies to taste

Now see... in Tennessee, we don't really have access to a lot of peppers in our area. The ONLY place I had any luck was at the Mexican Market. Unfortunately, I ended up with 2 bags of Pasilla Chiles, which are actually sweet and not spicy by the way, so I added 5 Pasilla Chiles instead to make up for not having any Anaheims.

You know what else is hard to find in Tennessee? Sun-dried tomatoes. I went to several stores looking for these as well, but settled for roasted red peppers instead. Oh, and don't even plan on finding Bolillo rolls. I went with a Keisar roll, but it really wasn't a great choice. The bread is too airy and becomes like mush with the gravy. So you, you try something different. Maybe a sub roll would work nicely.

The night before I planed on making these, I put all of the above ingredients (minus the chipotles) in the crock pot and let it cook while I slept. Now THAT's my kind of cooking! The next morning I just put the removable pot in the fridge and heated it up on the stove when I got home from work for about 20-30 minutes.

Now, let's get to the fun part! The pictures.

You see this? DON'T DO THAT! I learned a very valuable lesson. Don't add too much hot liquid to your blender, and whatever you do, DO. NOT. USE. PULSE! The blend function on your blender is there for a reason. After that fiasco...yes... twice...I finally got smart.

Do this instead! This is when you should add the chipotle peppers. I am a wimp, so I only added one chipotle, cleaned of seeds and membrane.

MMMM....beef. ROAST beef. Start your assembly by pilling up as much beef as you think you can eat on one side of your bread.

And that gravy you made in the blender that you DIDN'T get all over your house, car, cat, and that little spot on your back that's just out of reach, pour that all over the beef. Don't be shy. These aren't called drowned sandwiches for nothing!

Now, you'll want to add some avocado. Go ahead, it's the good kind of fat. You can have all you want.

Okay, something ELSE I couldn't find...okay I lied. What I really meant to say is I forgot to buy the crema. I hear it's a lot like sour cream, so I used that instead like the recipe suggested. Now drizzle that sauce over your avocado. Are you ready for the next step? Are you sure you can handle it?

Put the lid on and eat. And eat. And eat. And then debate with yourself about making another one for you to eat. Go on... You don't have to watch what you eat everyday....

These were delicious and definitely worth all the frustration of looking for ingredients. I consider it a scavenger hunt! Now, the OP said to not even attempt picking these up, but Dave is a rebel and ate with his hands. I'm too sophisticated for that, I really did need a fork and a knife...and then I might have licked my plate...just don't tell anyone!

"This recipe originally came from close family friends of ours who are from Mexico but it has become a family favorite for us too! My mom made it all the time growing up and now I have carried on the tradition. They are so delicious but don't be afraid of a little "kick"! I am from Texas and I think these represent the strong Tex-Mex culture that exists there. So many of my favorite foods are thanks to the Mexican influence so I thought this a fitting tribute!"

Tortas Ahogadas (Drowned Sandwiches)

3 Anaheim Chiles (dry…cleaned of seeds & membrane)
3 Pasilla Chiles (dry…cleaned)
1 Kilo (2-3 lb.) beef roast
1 onion (coarsely chopped)
4-6 cloves of garlic
Salt & Pepper (to taste)
Teaspoon of oregano
10 sun-dried tomatoes (you can use dry or packed in oil…I use dry)

2-3 canned chipotle chilies (depending on the amount of spice that you like) to add to broth, after meat has been stewed

Cook the above ingredients in 2 liters of water until meat is tender (I use slow cooker on low for about 8 hours)…take out the meat and shred with two forks (so that the pieces aren't too big for the sandwiches)…cool for a while before proceeding with the next step so that you don't burn yourself…add the chipotle chilies to the broth (with meat still removed) and process either in small batches in food processor/blender…or use immersion blender. The mixture should be thick, like a gravy.

½ litre of Crema Fresca (or sour cream works too)
3 Tablespoons of mayonnaise
1 Teaspoon of mustard (roughly)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Avocado (slices to go on sandwiches)
Bolillo Rolls

Assembly: Lay out a roll and place meat on one side. Then ladle some of the sauce over the top of the meat and top with avocado and Crema. These are fork & knife sandwiches…don't even think about trying to eat with your hands! Enjoy!


Ashley said...

Yay!!! I'm so glad you were able to make them finally! Sorry they gave you so much trouble but it makes me so happy to see someone trying a recipe that is so close to my heart. Great job!!

Melissa said...

They look great! I'll update the blog now.