-In from Daisy, our resident foodie: Elote, Mexican Grilled Corn -
Summer is in full swing — so whether you’re hosting a backyard party, a cookout at the beach, or a picnic at the park . . . it is the perfect time to grill. For me, a summer barbecue is not complete without grilled corn on the cob. Cooking corn on the grill, alongside steaks, burgers, or hot dogs, is not only convenient, but also results in perfectly cooked corn which is steamed at first, then lightly charred for a moist, smoky flavor. The best part is that, as the host, you don’t have to miss any of the fun going back and forth to the kitchen to boil the corn.
While grilled corn is delicious with just some butter and sea salt, try this Mexican version called elote, grilled corn that is smothered in crema Mexicana, cotija cheese and chili powder seasoning. This is a popular snack sold by street vendors in Mexico. Some ingredients are Mexican staples but are widely available in grocery stores and Hispanic markets here in the US.
-Crema Mexicana is a cultured, sour cream cheese prepared from pasteurized cow’s milk. It has a smooth and creamy texture, similar to the consistency of Devon cream or crème fraîche. - Cotija cheese is named after the town of Cotija in the Mexican state of Michoacán. It is a hard cheese made from cow’s milk. Fresh cotija is salty, almost resembling feta cheese. Once it is aged, it becomes salty, hard and crumbly, similar to parmesan cheese, which is a good substitute if you can’t find cotija. “Anejo’ refers to the aged version. Since it is firm cheese, cotija does not melt, only softens. - I recently discovered Tajin Clasico Seasoning, which is mixture of chili peppers, sea salt, and lime, and it is the perfect seasoning to sprinkle on the grilled corn.
The combination of these ingredients is rich and tangy and compliments the sweetness of the grilled corn. Perfect on a summer day!
Elote, Mexican Grilled Corn Yields 8 servings Ingredients: 8 ears of corn, in husks 1 tablespoon salt 1/2 cup mayonnaise or crema Mexicana 1 teaspoon lime juice 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, chili powder, or Tajín Clásico Seasoning (found in Mexican grocery stores) salt, to taste 4 tablespoons butter, melted (optional) 1 cup crumbled or grated cotija anejo cheese (Parmesan cheese makes a good substitute) cilantro leaves, coarsely chopped lime wedges, for garnish more cayenne pepper, chili powder, or Tajín seasoning, to sprinkle as garnish Method: Heat the grill to medium. Pull the outer husks of each of the corn down to the base (be sure to keep them attached) and remove silk. Fold husks back into place, and soak the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the hot grill, close the cover, and cook over moderate heat for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until the kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. If you’d prefer corn kernels that are more charred, cook in husks for 15 minutes. Cool slightly and carefully pull back the husks and place the ears directly on the grill another for 5-7 minutes (with the husks hanging off to the side of the grill), or until they reach desired level of char. In a small bowl mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, preferred chili powder seasoning, and salt. Place crumbled or grated cotija cheese on a plate large enough roll the ears of corn. To serve, brush each ear with melted butter. Then, brush the mayonnaise mixture, roll in the cheese, and sprinkle in cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and additional chili powder seasoning.