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Grilled Mexican Street Corn (Elote)

Mexican street corn, known as “elote,” is a beloved street food that captures the vibrant flavors of Mexican cuisine. This mouthwatering dish combines the sweetness of corn with the zing of lime, the heat of chipotle pepper, and the creaminess of Mexican crema and cotija cheese. Perfect for backyard gatherings or as a unique side dish, making grilled Mexican street corn at home is surprisingly easy and incredibly rewarding. In this post, I’ll guide you through the steps to create this flavorful delicacy that will undoubtedly impress your taste buds and your guests.

The Perfect Corn Base

To start, gather 6 to 8 medium ears of sweet corn with the husks removed. The freshness and quality of the corn are key to a delicious elote. Choose corn that is plump and juicy to ensure the best results. Preparing the corn is a simple process, and with the right technique, you can enhance its natural sweetness on the grill.

Crafting the Creamy and Spicy Sauce

The heart of any good elote recipe lies in its sauce. In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup of Mexican crema or sour cream with an equal amount of mayonnaise. To this creamy base, add the bold flavors: 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro, 1 minced clove of garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of ground chipotle pepper (adjust to your preferred spice level), 2 teaspoons of finely grated lime zest from 1 lime, and 2 tablespoons of lime juice. This concoction creates a tantalizing blend of richness and zest that will coat your grilled corn perfectly.

The Art of Grilling

Now, it’s time to fire up the grill! Grilling the corn imparts a smoky flavor that elevates its taste. Over medium-high heat, grill the corn until it’s lightly charred on all sides, turning occasionally. The slight char adds depth to the corn’s sweetness and provides a delightful contrast to the creamy sauce. This step requires patience, but the result is well worth the wait.

The Finishing Touches

Once your corn is perfectly grilled, slather it generously with the prepared sauce, ensuring every kernel is coated in this flavor-packed mixture. To add an authentic touch, sprinkle 1/2 cup of crumbled cotija cheese over the corn. Cotija, a salty Mexican cheese, provides a satisfying texture and a salty kick that balances the sweetness of the corn and the richness of the sauce. Serve your elote with lime wedges on the side, allowing your guests to squeeze fresh lime juice over their portions, enhancing the overall taste experience.

 

Making grilled Mexican street corn (elote) at home is a culinary adventure that promises a burst of flavors and a fiesta in your mouth. Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, a potluck, or a family dinner, elote is sure to be a crowd-pleaser. Don’t be afraid to experiment with the spice levels and cheese quantities to tailor the dish to your preferences. So, fire up the grill, gather your ingredients, and treat yourself and your loved ones to this irresistible Mexican delicacy.