I’ve seen a dish called “Mexican Street Corn” (elotes) prepared on Food Network multiple times over the years. I’ve never really had easy access to a grill, so it hasn’t been a preparation that I wanted to try until I recently acquired a grill.
One day, I was shopping at the market and came across some decent looking corn for pennies on the dollar, so I figured it was worth a shot. I also had the recipe. So that meant that I needed to make a stop at La Mexicana (my local Mexican grocery) to pick up a couple of ingredients, namely cotija cheese and crema.
Cotija cheese is very similar to parmigianno cheese, but a little fattier and less salty. Crema is like sour cream only richer, saltier, and more luxurious than any sour cream I’ve ever encountered. It’s almost like creme Fraiche, but a little less tangy and a little sweeter.
The goal is to char the outsides of the corn on the cob, slather it with a mixture comprised with crema, mayonnaise, cotija, chile, and cilantro, then to dust each cob with more cotija and then eat them with a squeeze of lime.
For good measure, I picked up some corn tortillas and grilled up a couple of steaks for steak tacos.
Being that I’m human, I forgot to pick up ancho chile powder at the market, so I had to call an audible and use some of the ancho chile oil I had in the fridge.
The corn turned out pretty great. There’s quite a bit going on with this, and it’s actually really difficult for me to come up with a meaningful way of describing the taste. It’s very rich, but as you chew on the corn, that richness dissipates. There are a bunch of textures going on. There’s the crunch on the outside of the corn and the silkiness of the kernels, the creaminess of the crema and mayo, and a little granularity from the cotija. The purpose of the lime is to cut through a lot of that richness, but the chopped cilantro in the mix did that enough for me.
The steak tacos were delicious. And they were just the classic combo of grilled steak, sweet onions, cilantro, and sliced radish on corn tortillas.
It was a great meal!