Growing up in rural Ohio surrounded by corn (I literally grew up in a home sandwiched between two giant corn fields.) I know all too well that there’s nothing better than corn at the end of summer when it’s at its peak. As a kid, corn on the cob was our most common way of consuming sweet corn. My brothers and I were in charge of shucking. It wasn't a chore I liked (darn those pesky silks!) but the end result was well worth the effort. My parents would prepare the corn simply-- blanched in boiling water, slathered in melted butter and sprinkled with salt.
It wasn’t until I moved to New York where I had my first bite of elote (AKA Mexican street corn.) Frankly, I wasn’t aware there were more ways to eat corn on the cob than the one I’d grown up with. I thought that was perfect as is but it turns out when it’s slathered with Mexican crema (or mayonnaise), sprinkled with crumbled cotija cheese and chopped cilantro, dusted with chipotle chile powder and finished with a squeeze of lime it becomes a dish of pure perfection.
When I came across the first corn of the summer at the market, all I could think about was elote. But, corn on the cob isn’t really a dish fit for dinner even if you grew up in a cornfield like myself. So I took all the ingredients you’d use to make the creamy cheesy corn dish and transformed them into a quesadilla fit for dinner.
Before building the quesadillas, the corn is sauteed to bring out it’s sweetness. Since Cotija isn’t a great melting cheese, I added some shredded Monterey jack cheese to up the goo factor. To serve the quesadillas, the Mexican crema (you can also use sour cream) is seasoned with cumin, salt and zest of a lime. And, to not waste the zested lime, I like to cut it into wedges to serve with some Mexican beer.