It's hard to beat the standard American taco -- ground beef flavored with a packet of taco seasoning piled with toppings into a crispy, store-bought shell. But with a little extra effort, you can create more gourmet tacos that are appropriate even for a special occasion. Today's recipe comes from


3 medium red-skin boiling or Yukon gold potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)

Coarse salt

1 pound Mexican chorizo sausage, casing removed

1 small white onion, finely chopped

3 medium tomatillos (about 4 ounces), husked, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1 clove garlic

1 jalapeno, stemmed

1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted

12 soft cornmeal tortillas


In a medium saucepan, bring 1 quart of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes, and simmer until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat, combine chorizo and onion. Cook, stirring often, until sausage is cooked through and onion is soft, about 10 minutes. If sausage has rendered more than a light coating of fat over bottom of skillet, pour off extra. Add potatoes, and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring often, until potatoes begin to brown, about 8 minutes. As mixture cooks, mash everything together a little with back of a spoon or a spatula, scraping up any crusty bits of potato, so that it roughly holds together. Cover, and keep warm over very low heat.

Meanwhile, in a food processor fitted with the steel blade, combine tomatillos, garlic and jalapeno. Pulse until fine. Add avocado, and pulse until combined. Season with salt.

Wrap tortillas in a warm, damp kitchen towel, put them in a microwave-safe casserole dish, and cover. Warm in the microwave for 4 minutes, remove and let stand a few minutes. Top each tortilla with potato mixture and avocado salsa, fold in half and serve.