Dish of the Week: Elote (Mexican Street Corn)

You can find elote (served in a cup or on the cob) at little stands and taco trucks all over the city...or you can make your own at home.
You can find elote (served in a cup or on the cob) at little stands and taco trucks all over the city...or you can make your own at home.
Photo by Robb Walsh

From classic comfort foods to regional standouts and desserts, we'll be sharing a new recipe with you each week. Find other dishes of the  week here.

This week, we’re covering a dish perfect for your Memorial Day grill-out: Elote.

Elote, or Mexican-style corn, is a popular street food consisting of corn that gets boiled or grilled (either in or out of the husk) before being smothered with things like mayonnaise, crema, butter, cojita cheese, lemon or lime, chili powder and salt and pepper.

It is often eaten on the cob, but the kernels can also be removed from the ear and served in bowls in a preparation that can also be referred to as esquites.

This recipe, from Serious Eats, ups the ante on flavor by grilling the corn out of the husk to achieve a smoky, charred flavor. The corn gets slathered with a rich mixture of mayo, Mexican crema, garlic, ancho chili, and cilantro; then sprinkled with salty cojita or feta cheese and a squeeze of lime for a nice bright finish.

Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)

Ingredients serves 4
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 tsp 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 and tender stems
4 ears shucked corn
1 lime, cut into wedges


Prepare grill: 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.

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