By Laurie Jo Miller Farr

Think guacamole and tequila! Cinco de Mayo, May 5th is the day we commemorate the Mexican Army’s victory over the French forces during the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In the United States, we have taken on the day as a day to celebrate Mexican-American culture. Cinco de Mayo is often confused with Mexican Independence Day, which is on September 16th, is something else altogether. But two annual Mexican parties surely beats one. Whatever holiday you are celebrating, Bay Area chef extraordinaire Joanne Weir has some great recipes to celebrate it with!

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Copita In Sausalito (credit:

Copita In Sausalito (credit:

Joanne Weir
Joanne Weir
Copita Tequileria Y Comida
739 Bridgeway
Sausalito, CA 94965
(415) 331-7400

Chosen as “Best Mexican Restaurant” in the Eat + Drink Awards by readers of 7x7SF, Copita has a 100-plus tequila selection that boggles the mind. Co-owner Joanne Weir, a PBS television chef and James Beard Award-winning cookbook author, has created a place where the authentic flavors of Mexico complement her passion for the distilled beverage made from the blue agave plant. Joanne Weir’s definitive “Tequila: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails and Bites,” published in 2009, provides insights into Margaritas and more. Her latest book, “Kitchen Gypsy” was released on September 2015.

We’re delighted that Joanne has personally shared these five recipes — including a delicious guacamole — for our tribute to Cinco de Mayo 2017! Better yet, come celebrate it at Copita!

Salsa Verde With Cilantro And Mint

  • 12 tomatillos, quartered
  • 1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2  fresh chile arbol, stems removed
  • 1/3 bunch cilantro, very coarsely chopped
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint or more to taste
  • Kosher salt


Blend all of the ingredients except the mint until smooth. Add the mint and season with salt. Makes two cups.

Summer Pico De Gallo Salsa

  • 1 ½ pounds yellow, orange and red cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • ½ to 1 whole serrano chile, seeded, minced, added to taste
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice, added to taste
  • Kosher salt


Place the tomatoes, cilantro, and onions in a bowl. Mix well and add the serrano, lime juice and salt to taste. Makes 2 1/2 cups.

Related: Foodie Chap With Chef Gonzalo Rivera of Copita, Sausalito

Flatiron Steak And Caramelized Onion Tacos

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  • 1 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon freshly  ground black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chile powder
  • 2 pounds flatiron steak, in 1 piece
  • 2 tablespoons corn oil
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 16 to 24 tortillas
  • Chipotle Crema
  • Fresh chopped cilantro


  • Put the paprika, salt, pepper, bay leaves, cumin and chile powder in a bowl and mix together. Rub it on the steak. Cover with plastic and let rest in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 hours.  
  • Warm the oil in a large frying pan and cook the onions over medium high heat until light golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the pan and add the beef. Cook about 2 to 3 minutes per side until medium rare, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Cut into thin slices. Add it back into the pan with the onions for 30 seconds.  
  • In the meantime, warm the tortillas. Top the tortillas with the steak and onions and top with the chipotle crema. Top with cilantro and serve immediately. Serves 8. 

Chipotle Crema

  • 1 tablespoon chipotle
  • 1 cup sour cream


Stir the chipotle and sour cream together. Season with salt.

Related: Foodie Chap With Chef Joanne Weir

Elote Roasted Mexican Corn With Chipotle Crema

  • 6 ears of corn, tops trimmed
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon chipotle en adobo
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • Kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground chile de arbol
  • 1 teaspoon ground guajillo
  • 2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • ½ cup crumbled cotija cheese
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 6 large lime wedges


  • Preheat an outdoor grill over medium heat. Cut the top ends off the corn. Place on the grill and grill, turning occasionally, for 20 minutes.
  • In the meantime, in a blender or food processor, combine the sour cream, chipotle, lime and orange juice and ¼ teaspoon salt.
  • In a small bowl, combine the chile de arbol, guajillo and ¼ teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  • When the corn is done, peel back the husks and discard the silk. Brush the corn with melted butter. Drizzle the chipotle cream onto the top in a zigzag pattern. Sprinkle with the cotija, cilantro and red onion. Sprinkle the spice mixture onto the top. Serve garnished with a lime wedge. Serves 6.


  • 3 avocados, mashed coarsely
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • ½ Serrano chile, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice or to taste
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • Tortilla chips


Combine all of the ingredients together in a bowl except for the tortilla chips and mix well.  Serve with tortilla chips. Serves 6 to 8.

Related: Top Family Bay Area Cinco de Mayo 2017 Celebrations

Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Yahoo, USA Today and on eHow.

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