Elote (Street Corn) was just one of those things that popped up out of nowhere —
I was grilling some corn for work and one of my Honduran friends causally mentioned Elote. I, of course, had no clue what this was, but he was pretty excited to tell me about it! Grilled corn with mayo, cheese and chili. It was a little weird for my tastes, so I completely forgot about it until we were out buying corn and I casually mention Elote to see if Nicole knew anything about it. She then informed me that her friend from Texas first told her about it. There, it’s also known as “corn in a cup” and her place of work was doing it as a dip. That sounds pretty great to me, but I was thinking that it should be kept like how they do it on the streets. Kept straight on the cob with all the fixings, if we were to do it at all. At this point, I still wasn’t fully convinced. Nicole was very excited it about it, but I had my doubts. I guess I just get hung up on the mayo bit.
Shortly after all of this, there it was on some TV show that we were watching. That’s when I decided that it would be a cool thing to try out. If it’s such a popular thing it must be good, right?
So a little background on Elote. As far as I know this comes from the streets of mexico. They grill the corn, husk and all, peel back the husk and dress it with any combo of mayo, cotija, cilantro, lime and chili powder. Using that pulled back husk as a handle, you chomp right into that corn in all of its delicious glory. After reading a few recipes to try to get an idea of what this is all about, I actually started to get really excited about it. Short of taking a trip to Mexico, making it ourselves will just have to do. I’m sure it tastes better down there, but what we had was pretty good as well.
This recipe is super simple and perfect for serving to your family at a bbq – which is exactly what we did. (Shout out to my Mom’s awesome table cloth!) The whole family was watching while we put this together as if we were some sort of show. It’s totally fine, I work in an open kitchen with a chef’s counter staring right at my station, so I’m kind of used to it… But it’s still nerve racking having your family there instead of some random stranger. Anyway, it must have been good because the family ate it all.
Our Elote is pretty much the classic way of making it, except that instead of using plain mayo, we decided to make a more flavorful spread for the cheese to stick to. We did half mayo and half sour cream and we added some lime zest and juice, extra chili powder, and some garlic to give it a little kick. This combination results in such a tasty little spread, I wouldn’t mind drizzling it on some nachos…
Elote (Street Corn)Print This
- 6 Ears of Corn
- 1/4 Cup Mayo
- 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 tsp Chili Powder, Plus more for sprinkling
- 1 Lime, Plus Extra for wedges
- 1 Garlic Clove, Grated
- 1 Cup Cotija Cheese, Crumbled
- 1 Bunch Cilantro for Garnish
Mix together mayo, sour cream, 1 tsp chili powder, zest of a lime, juice of half a lime, and the grated garlic. Set aside.
Lightly brush the corn with oil, then sprinkle with salt and chili powder. Grill until starting to char.
Remove corn from grill then spread an even layer of the mayo mixture on each cob. Roll the corn in the crumpled cheese then garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Eat!
Try out these delicious corn next time you have family or friends over. It’s a little different with some zing from the lime juice and creaminess from the mayo/cheese combo. But it works and now I can understand why so many people have become obsessed with it. We might be as well.
So that’s as close as to mexico as we can get on a short notice. Maybe we will honeymoon down there and get some Elote of our own? That and some mole made of ants! Have you seen that episode of chef’s table?!? I kind of wanted to go south after that. There’s so much diversity of food down there! One day we’ll take a trip…
As always enjoy,