Monday, July 8, 2013

Mexican Grilled Corn “Elote” – The Last Grilled Corn Recipe I’ll Ever Need

I know a recipe came out well when my wife Michele says something to the effect of, “we can never have this made any other way, ever,” which is exactly what she said after tearing through two ears of this amazing Mexican-style grilled corn. She wasn’t kidding.

I have no idea how authentic this is, as I’ve never had this in Mexico, or even prepared by actual Mexicans, so let’s play it safe and just say this was inspired by “elote,” as it’s called. I’m sure there are hundreds of variations, but the one constant seems to be the final step, which consists of grating copious amounts of Cotija cheese over the seasoned ears.

Cotija can be found in any large grocery store (at least in California), and for me it’s like a bland, slightly drier Feta cheese. I know that doesn’t sound especially appetizing, but when combined with the creamy chili mayo, and the smoky grilled corn, it’s absolutely to die for. In a pinch, Parmesan or Feta would work, but I can’t imagine it being as perfect.

There should be no shortage of fresh corn on the cob this time of year, so I highly encourage you to get some (twice as much as you think you are going to eat), and give this amazing recipe a try soon. Enjoy!


corn on the cob, boiled in salted water for 5 minutes, drained
melted butter, as needed
grated cotija cheese, as needed
For the chili mayo (makes enough for about 8 ears):
generous 1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp ground ancho chili powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
juice of one lime
salt to taste if needed

View the complete recipe

20 comments:

Steph! Ho! said...

Looks fantastic! Around here (Texas) this is also served layered in a little styrofoam cup with the corn cut off the cob. Great for picnics and impulse buys at the gas station

Pyrofish said...

According to my travels in central Mexico, the authentic version uses a very fibrous variety of corn, AKA Commodity Corn, AKA, Animal feed, but still on the cob. Also, it's not authentic unless the mayo has been taken from a jar that has sat in the sun for at least 6 hours and applied with an old spatula. The Cheese and chili powder were right on :-)

All of that being true, the elote I had was still pretty darn good. Your version using actual eatin'-corn and non-sun-ripened-mayo, looks fantastic!

Gerardo said...

And Excellent n True Elote Recipe !!!

Malistria said...

I think the "orange" color of that few corn pieces is because of they have more indole than the other ones. I've just done an exam about that at univ.
I can't wait to finish my exams and to make all the delicious recipes you share.
A spanish fan.

Monica said...

I never boil corn. We microwave it in the husks and it is Greta. Will try you recipe tonight.. Thanks. In a summer where the temp is in the high 90s we never turn the oven on and have to be creative with every thing.

Rich Stillwell said...

Hi Chef John!. The word is Cotija...Not to Cojita

Chef John said...

Yes, I knew that! ;)

shesfiction said...

Hi Chef John, this looks fantastic! I was wondering, in a pinch is there anything that could be substituted for the mayo with similar results? Any thoughts?
Thanks a bunch!

Food Junkie said...

I have mine already to go for tonight's dinner along with some Cornell chicken breasts. I will admit to some skepticism about charcoal grilling adding any real flavour. It produces little smoke and most of the flavourful components will be driven off during the manufacture. However pit bosses swear by it so maybe.

cookinmom said...

Well, I made green chili enchiladas tonight and just happened to have 10 ears of corn in the fridge waiting to go on the grill because I like to take it off the cobb and freeze for the winter. It never happened with this recipe. I, too, nuke my corn 3 at a time in wet paper towels, 3 min. on one side +turned over and 3 more min = 6 min. total. I'm a lazy cook :) I halved your recipe and it covered all 10 ears. It was a lot. Excellent...all enjoyed! Again TKS!

Chef John said...

Other than butter or maybe yogurt/sour cream I don't know of a sub for mayo.

Gretchen inNOLA said...

Damn! damndamndamn! That's some beautiful corn, no, like really. (the 20 yr daughter's comment). She's insistent we go to the farmer's market tomorrow to buy corn. Must concur with her opinion. She will, however, get her corn-shuckin' experience with this one.

Vinnie said...

Try adding ingredients to the corn in this order: Slather in mayo, sprinkle with a 50/50 mix of cotija/parmesan, drizzle with butter, drizzle Tapatio hot sauce on top.

Gretchen inNOLA said...

Daughter follow up after she made the corn: "ErmaGHERD! What's that dude's website again?"

fay cope said...

I love the flavors of this way of preparing corn so much I get cravings all year. But fresh corn on the cob isn't around all year and I don't really like gnawing on corn cobs anyway. I do this with frozen corn kernals. Stick with me a minute. I saute them in butter until they go dark brown here and there. While that's happening, I mix a spoonful of mayo, a squeeze of lime, some cayenne and some crumbled cotija. When the corn is ready, I mix it all together an eat it with the same spoon. I wash the dishes; it seems logical. When you do this often enough, you know just how much of everything to use. I can't wait to try the smoked paprika.

Jason C said...

Serious Eats must be a fan of your blog, they just posted this today:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2013/07/how-to-make-mexican-street-corn-elotes.html?ref=pop_serious_eats

Jes Flesch said...

Made this tonight along with your crunchy onion rings. Both were incredible!

Kim Asher said...

This was a huge hit with the family. Thank you so much!!

Chris said...

One of our favorite dishes in the summer. I use some Greek yogurt in place of some of the mayo. You still get the tang but it's a lot less fat and calories.

Josue L said...

Great recipe! love all your videos this one makes me laugh because where I Live here in TX all you need is a food truck with little speakers on the top of it with this "Elotes con chile y mayonesa deliciosos!" If you set this up along the beach your set! haha