Pati Jinich's Crazy Street Corn

July  3, 2013

Our guest editor this week is Pati Jinich, authority on Mexican cooking and author of Pati's Mexican Table. She'll be sharing a week's worth of recipes, choosing a Wildcard winner, answering our questions, and giving away a few copies of her book.

Today, Pati takes Elote, the famous Mexican street food, and brings it straight to your kitchen.

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Messy goodness on a stick. That’s what this is. Crunchy, juicy, sweet corn slathered in butter and mayo, coated in crumbled queso fresco, sprinkled with chile powder and salt, and drizzled with lime juice: it is one of those ubiquitous street foods of Mexico. I stalk street corn vendors when I am in Mexico, and my kids do exactly the same thing. To keep us all out of jail, I give them a hit of the "crazy corn" at home. Though my boys tend to have radically different preferences, this is one where their preferences clearly align: they want everything on there. When you serve it, just lay out all the garnishes -- and lots of napkins -- and let them go.

Crazy Street Corn

Serves 6

6 fresh ears of corn, husked and rinsed
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, if grilling
Unsalted butter, to taste
Mayonnaise, to taste
1 cup crumbled queso fresco, Cotija, farmer’s cheese, or mild feta
Kosher or coarse sea salt, to taste
Dried ground chile, such as piquín, ancho, chipotle, or a Mexican mix
3 limes, halved, for squeezing on top

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by Penny De Los Santos

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  • checker
  • carswell
  • Regine
I forgo my job in the Washington DC policy research world to research, test, taste, cook, write, teach and talk about Mexican food. Not only because of nostalgia and desire to connect to my roots, but because I love sharing all I learn and I am fascinated by Mexico cuisine's richness and depth.


checker July 3, 2013
Pati, a very sincere thank you for the Wildcard pick! I was planning crab cakes for the Independence Day holiday and I think this might be a perfect side to accompany the dish. I hope to make it to one of your classes someday! Thank You!
carswell July 3, 2013
I've always wanted to try this.

A combination of dijon mustard, smoked hot paprika, lime juice and salt is what I usually do.
Regine July 3, 2013
I eat this all the time. I brush my corn (which I usually bake inside my oven, maybe at 450 degrees and the last minutes on "Hi Broil")with mayo, and then roll it into the cheese (crumbled on a plate), and I then sprinkle it with cilantro and some lime juice. No need for salt since the cheese is salty enough. I love love love this dish!
Regine July 3, 2013
I eat this all the time. I brush my corn (which I usually bake inside oven) with mayo, and then I roll it on a plate loaded with crumbled queso fresco, and then I sprinkle some cilantro and lime juice. No need for salt since the cheese is salty enough. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!