Down Mexico Way
I wasn’t introduced to Mexican Street Corn by some vendor in Guadalajara, but in the backyard several years ago by my grandson, Austin. He’s quite an accomplished cook and always eager to try a new recipe. But this corn treatment caught me off guard with its rough exterior.
“Do you suppose Mexican Street Corn got its name from being dropped in the street?” I asked.
Austin laughed and explained that it’s the coating of mayo, crumbled cheese, Mexican crema, (or sour cream), and seasonings that gives the rough texture, but incredible taste to the corn hot off the grill.
An Easy Addition to an Outdoor Gathering
Thanks to Austin, I’ve added this amazing dish to my summer recipe line up. Best of all, it takes less than than 20 minutes to get on the table. Modifications can be made, as needed. If you don’t want to fire up the grill, you can roast the corn in the oven at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes. Or just boil it on the stove top. If you don’t have cotija cheese (I found mine at Schnucks), use feta cheese. No Mexican crema on hand? Use sour cream.
What you’re looking for is a cheesy-creamy-limey-chili coating for the corn. When you roll the warm ears in the mixture, it all merges into a delicious mélange, that can be somewhat messy. If this is a problem, click here for an off-the-cob version that you can serve from a bowl. The dish is called esquites when served with an utensil and elotes when munched from the cob.
Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
- 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
- 4 ears shucked corn
- 1 lime, cut into wedge
Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and spread the coals evenly over half of coal grate. Alternatively, set half the burners of a gas grill to high heat. Set cooking grate in place, cover gill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes.
Clean and oil the grilling grate. While coals heat, combine mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, garlic, and cilantro in a large bowl.
Stir until homogenous and set aside. When grill is hot, place corn directly over hot side of grill and cook, rotating occasionally, until cooked through and charred in spots on all sides, about 8 minutes total.
Transfer corn to bowl with cheese mixture and use a large spoon to evenly coat corn on all sides with mixture. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.