Saturday, September 28, 2013

Elote - Mexican Corn on the Cob

Elote, or Mexican corn on the cob, is a treat that I should make more often for my family. While it will never replace the spare glory of corn that's been freshly picked and steamed, this spicy treat, hawked by vendors in Mexico and the desert Southwest, is a real palate pleaser. While elote is usually grilled, it can be steamed or broiled before it is slathered with a mixture of butter, real mayonnaise and lime juice. The final fillip, applied just before serving, is a liberal sprinkling of cotija cheese and cayenne pepper. Cotija is a semi-hard and crumbly cheese that resembles Parmesan. It is used to add some saltiness and texture to the finished ears of corn. The corn is best served piping hot and all the condiments should be applied to it while the kernels are still warm enough to bathe in the butter and mayonnaise as they melt. I must admit to a bit of theme and variation when I make this. Rather than sprinkle the corn with cayenne pepper, which I find very harsh, I add a half teaspoon of mashed chipotle in adobo to the mayonnaise called for in the recipe. It adds gentle fire to the corn and I find it more pleasing to the tongue than cayenne. I also steam the corn when I make this recipe. I've found that's the best way to get consistently moist corn. I hope you'll give this a try. The classic recipe, sans my changes, appears below.

Elote - Mexican Corn on the Cob...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite


4 cobs of corn

2 tablespoons of butter

4 tablespoons of mayonnaise

4 lime wedges

1/2 cup of cotija cheese, crumbled

Cayenne to taste


1) About 1 hour before cooking, soak unhusked corn in water.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. When hot, drain corn and cook in husks for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.

3) Pull husk layers down, leaving them attached to base of the cob, which can act as a handle.

If you like blackened corn, place under broiler for five minutes, I personally find this dries the corn, but this is really a matter of individual preference.

4) While corn is warm, spread 1/2 tablespoon of butter and 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise on each cob. Sprinkle each ear with 2 tablespoons cheese and some cayenne pepper. Squirt lime juice all over cob. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.

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