Monday, June 7, 2010

Elote - a Mexican favorite

As I mentioned in this post about the food co-op there was corn in the basket and I knew exactly how I was going to use it - elote.

The first time I was offered elote my answer was "no way". A street vendor was selling it in my then-fiance's neighborhood.  My husband, who is Mexican-American, told me how good elote was and that I had to try it myself.  The idea of buying steamed corn slathered with mayonnaise, butter, cheese and chili from a street vendor working out of a shopping cart sounded awful. But then... I tried it and I have been hooked ever since. As summer is upon us you can readily find inexpensive corn on the cob and although, like me, you might not think elote sounds good I encourage you to give it a try. I live in Las Vegas and can get elote from street vendors or Mexican stores regularly, but if you can't it is easy to make at home.   

ELOTE - Mexican Corn 

  • 6 Wooden Skewers
  • 6 ears of Corn on the Corn
  • 1/2 cup Mayo
  • 1 cup Cotija Cheese - Parmesan can be used if you cannot find the Mexican specialty cheese
  • Chile - powdered or liquid like Tapitio or Valentina
  • Butter (if desired)
  • Salt
  • Lime or lemon (if desired)
Boil the corn until soft. Insert the skewer into the bottom of each ear of corn (to use like a handle). If you have a big enough pot you can insert the skewer before boiling. Lightly salt the corn and slather with mayo generously. Mix the cheese and chili (if using powder) in the bottom of a plate or pan. Roll the ears of corn in the cheese mixture. You can also sprinkle the chili on separately which is a good choice if you have family like varying degrees of heat. If desired sprinkle with melted butter. If using liquid chili sprinkle on corn using more or less depending on how spicy you desire. Squeeze lime or lemon on finished elote (if desired) and ENJOY!
Having a BBQ?  Grill the corn in the husks instead of boiling and then follow the same preparation. It's wonderful with grilled corn.

Variation: Don't have corn on the cob or time to prepare it?  Follow my friend Erika's method for elote style corn anytime of year.  Heat canned corn on the stove or microwave. Drain, add 1-2 tablespoons of mayo or sour cream if you aren't a fan of mayo.  Add cheese, butter and chili to taste. If you leave in a little of the canning liquid it becomes almost like a soup.  A perfect comfort dish in minutes.

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