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There is a food cart in Center City Philadelphia called Honest Tom’s Taco Truck.  Their tacos are scrumptious…full of fresh ingredients, served in a nice warm corn (or flour) tortilla.  My favorite is the sweet potato taco with guacamole, but they are also well known for their fish tacos and their breakfast tacos.

Although we’ve made many tacos in our house, I wanted to recreate a more authentic taco – similar to Honest Tom’s and all the little Mexican restaurants/grocery stores we’ve frequented over the years.

Goodbye to the ground beef and cheese.

Hello to black beans with caramelized onions, tomatillo guacamole and homemade salsa on a soft and slightly warmed corn tortilla.

The kids love these, especially scooping up their toppings to fill their tortillas.

While these are easy to prepare, they take a little longer than a typical weeknight meal.  It helps to have an assistant or sous chef to split up the pieces!

I promise you:  they are so worth it!

from bottom:  black beans with caramelized onions, tomatillo guacamole, fresh salsa

My Three Layer Tacos feed two hungry adults and two hungry kids (approximately 8-10 tacos).

Layer One:  Black beans with caramelized onions

Start by caramelizing one big or two small sweet onions (or more if you want) with a little olive oil and sea salt on medium low heat.  When the onions have turned brown, add about two cups of black beans with more sea salt to taste and a little taco seasoning (I make my own, but you could use whatever brand you like best).

Layer Two:  Tomatillo Guacamole

We have been stocking up on tomatillos at the farmers market (thank you Lime Valley Mill Farm!) since my husband found this recipe for Guacamole Taquero (Taco Shop Guacamole) in a recent Saveur magazine.  We follow the recipe, except we roast the tomatillos before processing.  I do this ahead of time, when I think of it, and keep them in the fridge until I’m ready to use them.  If you choose to roast them, you could do it at the same time you start the onions since they take about the same time to caramelize as the tomatillos take to roast (approximately 20 minutes at 400 degrees).

Layer Three:  Salsa

For many years, I had a hard time combining ingredients to give me the perfect salsa  or guacamole.  Maybe it just took practice, but now I am pretty comfortable throwing either of those together quickly.  For this salsa, I cut up two fresh tomatoes from North Star Orchard and tossed them in the bowl.  Then added about half of a small onion, a small handful of cilantro, half a lime and a bunch of sea salt (again to taste).  I let this sit for about 10 minutes and drained any extra water off.

How to Warm Corn Tortillas

You could warm your tortillas in an oven, but we wanted them soft and pliable so we chose to use the microwave.  Take a damp cloth napkin (use damp paper towels, if you prefer) and wrap the tortillas in it.  Microwave for 30 seconds. I always buy organic corn tortillas…no GMO corn in this house! Next up…making my own corn tortillas.  See how we made flour tortillas here.

I hope you enjoy these tacos as much as we do!

What are your favorite taco fillings?