Grilled Mexican Street Corn

Looking for a KISS side for an upcoming cook out? Corn on the cob takes me back to my childhood and as a millennial, I’m super nostalgic, although I’m not really sure what for.  I don’t try to fight it and you shouldn’t fight how tasty this grilled Mexican Street Corn is either.IMG_0044

I will argue that this falls under the KISS strategy though the number of steps might seem a little more daunting than your traditional preparation of corn on the cob. If anything, I implore you to stop boiling it. The corn is too easily over cooked and the kernels lose all their natural sweet flavor. If you have access to an outside grill: fold back the husks; remove the silks, bring the husks back to cover the corn and then soak in water for about 10 or so minutes. When the husks have absorbed the water, grill for 15-20 minutes covered, rotating corn about every five minutes. When done, allow to cool and remove husks.

You could stop at this point and serve traditionally, with butter and salt.  But why stop at the obvious.  Try it with the sauce, making the famous Mexican street corn, or elote as it’s known south of the border.

Prepare the sauce by mixing:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
  • 1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for serving
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho or guajillo chili powder, plus more for serving
  • 1 medium clove garlic, finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves and tender stems

Once complete, set aside, keeping cool but avoid chilling completely.

Place husked corn directly over hot side of grill and cook, just for a light char and smoky flavor effect. This step is best done over charcoal but any grill will do.  For those of you without access to a grill, a griddle pan will produce the same effect, precooking the corn in a slow cooker.  You can directly cook the corn on the grill, skipping the first cooking step.  I find that this is a little overwhelming for first time tasters and you have to be pretty on top of cook times and rotation. If you’re jumping in, you’re going to grill the corn for about 8-10 minutes rotating on the medium hot part of the grill.

Once cooked, evenly coat corn on all sides with elote sauce. Sprinkle with extra cheese and chili powder and serve immediately with lime wedges.  You’ll never boil your corn again!



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