American cuisine appreciates a great deal of influence from Mexico, particularly here in the Southwest. Despite the popularity of tacos, enchiladas, and other staples rooted in Mexican cuisine, the illustrious elote has yet to fully break through to the mainstream food scene in America. Elote is the Spanish term for corn on the cob, which is very popular on the streets of Mexico slathered with crema (typically mayonaisse) and sprinkled with cheese and chili powder. It tastes as good as it sounds!
The best part about this Mexican street corn is how easy it is to make! Add just a few extra minutes for prep time the next time you have fresh corn with dinner and you'll end up with an extremely elevated side. If you have yet to sample elotes, you are missing out on a truly sensational taste experience. A picture is worth a thousand words, and this one is likely to do a better job of convincing you to try elotes than I ever could!
Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)
- 4 ears of corn
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (more or less to taste)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime, quartered
- In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, and garlic. Set aside.
- Boil or grill corncobs, being sure to leave the core attached to hold onto. If grilling, you can opt to leave the husk on, or remove for a charred flavor.
- Immediately brush corn with the mayonnaise mixture, roll in cotija cheese, and sprinkle with cilantro and chili powder.
- Serve hot with a lime wedge.
- Many recipes will omit the sour cream and call for the corn to be coated with pure mayonnaise. The addition of the sour cream lightens the mixture, but is ultimately a personal preference.
- Cotija cheese can be found in most premium grocery stores, but can be substituted with the easier-to-find parmesan, though it is obviously much less authentic.
- For another spin on Mexican street corn, shave the corn from the cob after cooking, and serve in a cup or bowl topped with the same ingredients!