inspired by Mexican street corn but definitely not the traditional dish this quick corn recipe takes advantage of the season’s sweet fresh corn. If your grilling have this on the cob or if it’s raining or buggy or you don’t like your corn on the cob try it in a pan- either way this sort of Mexican street corn dish is the perfect of sweet corn, tangy lime, savory cheese and the all important food groups- butter and mayonnaise.
here’s a clip of a elote vendor in Oaxaca in action- (the corn part is at 31 minutes in) what he serves is a meal what I’ve got here is a side. He is very generous with the mayo- he also uses all the sauces- tajin and a combo of smoked pepper and regular hot pepper sauce.
while a traditional Mexican street corn recipe calls for crumbly cheese I used fresh grated Romano, some other recipes call for feta if you don’t have cotija but others call for parmesan.
I also eliminated the crema (or sour cream) and opted for just butter and mayonnaise spiced up with lime juice and chili powder.
I’ve included cob on and cob off instructions. If you have grill and want to get a little bit messy the cob version is always more fun but it is best eaten out of doors where when cheese and butter and bits of cilantro careen off the cob and onto the ground it doesn’t matter so much. If you prefer to use utensils the skillet version is the way to go. Or if it’s winter use frozen or canned (the canned corn from Trader Joes is shockingly good)
other things you might like
some options for serving your sort of Mexican street corn
up the authentic by finish it off with a squeeze of fresh lime
corn is at it’s peak now- fresh from the field I like it just heated through but I also like fresh asparagus almost raw so I might be quirky that way- I suspect its a family trait. If you like your corn more cooked do that cook it more. IN the skillet saute with a bit of water to steam through before adding the sauce and browning- on the grill it will be more charred which isn’t a bad thing or you can pre-boil the corn before finishing on the grill.
this recipe is designed for two people- I don’t like crowds. but it can easily be expanded
- 2 ears fresh corn about 1 1/2 cups of frozen or one 15 ounce can
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- 1/2- 3/4 teaspoon fresh lime juice use less if serving with a lime garnish
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili powder I use Penzeys regular chili powder which is a combo of mostly ancho peppers, with a bit of cumin, garlic , and Mexican oregano
- 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan (if serving stove top I grate this fresh over the top to serve, if serving on the cob pre-grate the cheese and put it on a plate large enough to roll the corn around in
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro optional
- chili flakes or Aleppo pepper flakes for garnish optional
- fresh lime wedges for serving optional
- in a medium bowl combine the softened butter, mayo, lime juice, and chili powder, mix until throughly integrated
- if grilling I like to peel back the husk and remove the silk but leave the husk for a handle. pre- soaking the corn in cold water for 15-25 minutes helps keep the husk from burning. if cooking in a pan cut off the cob (you can scrape the juicy sweet bits that remain on the cob too if you’d like, I prefer the ‘testing ‘ method where I just eat that left over bit raw off the cob like a corn cannibal. If using a can open it, if using frozen take out of the freezer
- as mentioned above I like my corn barely cooked, if you don’t cook it more -again, suggestions above
- on the grill- over medium high heat, turning every few minutes until lightly charred and cooked though. of you leave the husks on for handles tie those back and let them dangle over the edge of the grill. you could also do this on a grill pan indoors but getting a char takes longer. Remove from the grill and immediately brush with the butter mayo mixture. and then roll it in the prepared grated cheese. sprinkle with cilantro and pepper flakes and serve.
- on the stove top- preheat a cast iron skillet over medium high heat add the kernels and cook until just beginning to sizzle. remove from heat and add the butter mayo mixture, stir to combine and serve immediately topped with grated cheese, cilantro, and pepper flakes