Mexican Street Corn: Are you ready to rethink how you eat corn? Is steaming and grilling corn getting boring? Then you MUST try this Mexican street corn recipe! Layers and layers of flavor coat the best summer sweet corn and turn a traditional side dish into a spectacular meal.
Are you sitting down? And no I’m not asking if you’re sitting down because you’re shocked it’s me popping up again after like a month of not posting any new recipes. Ha!
I’m asking because this Mexican street corn recipe (elotes) is going to BLOW. YOU. AWAY. I’m not even kidding, guys!
Let me back up a second though before I turn into a blathering idiot, unable to contain my excitement about this Mexican street corn. Let’s talk summer corn for a minute, shall we? Hmmm?
How do you corn? And I’m sorry! I really hate it how we now make verbs out of nouns. Like adulting. Ugh! I’m such a GenXer.
But seriously, how do you like your corn? I grew up on fresh summer corn completely husked, steamed, slathered in butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. I knew NO OTHER way of making corn. Also, can we reminisce for a sec about everyone’s favorite corn-butterer from the 80s? Was this a staple in your family’s kitchen every summer too?
These days, Kyle and I usually grill our corn. We’ve fancied up our own little method of dropping a couple pats of butter along with some salt and pepper onto a piece of aluminum foil and grilling the corn all wrapped up in the foil with the butter, salt, and pepper so the corn steams in the melted butter while on the grill. It’s a flipping fantastic way to make corn!
And there’s no lying when I say that there are usually a couple nights every August when corn is in peak season here in New England where we eat grilled corn and nothing else for dinner. Because: adulting, right? If you’re a corn fan, there’s truly nothing better in life than eating an ear of sweet corn that was picked in the morning with melted butter dribbling down your wrists and tiny kernels stuck to the sides of your faces.
ANYWAY. Back to this Mexican street corn! I have to admit that I was pretty damn skeptical when this corn version exploded in popularity a couple years back. Don’t get me wrong: I looooove Mexican and Tex-Mex food but the way you get all that delicious crumbled cheese to stick to the grilled corn is to slather the corn with a mayonnaise-sour cream mixture. I kept thinking, “Ummm. No. Just no.”
But, I’m not mayonnaise averse so when my cousin begged that we make Mexican street corn because she’d been dying to try it, I had no reason to not try it other than it sounded a little weird. Can I say that I feel guilty for judging food this way? I mean, I’m almost 40 for heaven’s sake. I should have a more open and broad view about food by now.
Old habits die hard sometimes though, don’t they?
So, this corn. Without sounding like I’m being completely overly effusive I’m just going to beg you to go an make this Mexican street corn. YOU NEED IT IN YOUR LIVES. Yes, caps were absolutely necessary right there!
Go on now and grill that sweet summer corn and then coat it in that mayonnaise-sour cream mixture. And then for good measure, roll it in some crumbled cheese, sprinkle it with some chile seasoning and cilantro, and then drizzle it with some more of that abhorrent mayo-sour cream mixture that you’ve now added some lime juice to. And then tell me after you’ve plowed through your ear of corn that that was the worst thing you’ve ever eaten.
Good luck with that one, my friends! Because this Mexican street corn will undoubtedly be one of the most outstanding foods you could ever eat. And not only is it a dead simple recipe to make with easy-to-find ingredients, it’s relatively quick to pull together as well. While the corn grills, you’ll mix up your mayo-sour cream concoction and a Tex-Mex-y spice mix. Then crumble the cheese – cojita or queso fresco work equally well! – and chop some cilantro. Super simple!!
Invite a bunch of friends over or keep all of this corn for yourselves. It doesn’t really matter who you eat it with – though you’ll never lose friends over this corn – just go and make it. You won’t be sorry.
Mexican Street Corn (Elotes)
- Prep Time: 15min
- Cook Time: 8-10min
- Yield: 4 servings
If you’re not a mayo fan, don’t shy away from this recipe. Mixed with sour cream, the mixture creates a subtle bottom layer of flavor that’s needed for the spices and cheese to stick it. It’s a barely-there flavor and with all the other goodness happening here, you barely notice it’s even there.
4 ears sweet corn
¼ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup sour cream
½ tsp ancho chile powder
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp hot smoked or sweet paprika
¼ tsp Kosher salt
2-3 cranks of fresh black pepper
Juice of ½ a lime
4 oz queso fresco or cojita cheese, crumbled small
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes. Pull the corn husks down to the bottom of the cob – remove or leave them for a more rustic look – and remove and discard the silk.
Place the corn on the grill (if you left them, hang the husks over the front edge of the grill and close the grill cover on them). Grill the corn for 8 to 10 minutes, turning every couple of minutes so all sides are cooked fairly evenly. Transfer corn to a platter and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
While the corn grills, stir the mayonnaise and sour cream together in a small bowl. In a separate small bowl, stir all of the spices, salt, and pepper together. Lay the crumbled cheese out in an even layer on a plate.
Brush all sides of the corn with the mayonnaise mixture (use only half of the mixture in this step). Sprinkle the spice mixture in a light and even layer over the corn. Roll the corn in the crumbled cheese and set on the platter. Sprinkle some extra spice mix over the top of the corn.
Stir the lime juice into the remaining mayonnaise mixture and drizzle over the top of the corn and add a sprinkle of the cilantro to each piece of corn. Serve while still warm.
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