Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

By • August 17, 2010 4 Comments

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Author Notes: This is classic, simple Mexican street food. I think of it as "crack corn" because of its addictive qualities. A grilled sweet ear slathered with salty Cotija cheese, spiked with hot chile powder and a tang from lime juice, this cob is a taste revelation. You take a bite, reel from the punchy flavors, and you immediately get to work on it, gnawing each row of kernels like an old-fashioned typewriter, with barely a breath between rows. You contemplate multiple pieces of corn for dinner. That's all. Just the corn. It seems right. - ShockinglydeliciousShockinglydelicious

Food52 Review: I love Mexican street corn and this version was up there with the best of them. Clear instructions demystified this tasty treat. I would make sure to use the sweetest corn you can find to achieve the perfect balance with the chili powder & cheese. If I wasn't typing this on the computer, the paper would be smeared with remnants of yumminess left on my fingers! Serve with any tequila-based drink. A definite thumbs up! - sticksnsconesThe Editors

Serves 4-6

  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (Best Foods brand preferred; can use light version)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (Daisy brand preferred; can use light version)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated Cotija cheese (about 4-5 ounces)
  • Ground chili powder (or ground cayenne pepper or ground chipotle)
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving
  1. Fire up the grill and get all ingredients ready.
  2. Microwave 3 ears of corn at a time in a covered container, 5 minutes. When first batch is done, microcook second batch.
  3. While corn is cooking stir mayonnaise, sour cream, cumin and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. Place grated cheese on a large plate and set aside.
  4. When corn is done in the microwave, grill it, turning frequently, until browned in spots, about 10-12 minutes. When corn is done on the grill, attach corn holders to each ear, and, working quickly, smear each ear with the mayonnaise mixture (this is the glue for the cheese), and then roll it in the grated cheese, sprinkle with chili powder and place on a plate. Use whatever chili powder you like, and give it a light sprinkle. You are working quickly because you want the heat of the corn to soften the cheese. Don’t let the corn cool off.
  5. Serve immediately, with lime wedges alongside. Squeeze lime over the corn before eating.
  6. Serves 4-6. (Some people will eat 1 ear, and some people – you know who you are – will want 2 ears.)

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