During college I studied in Guadalajara and fell in love with, among other things, the Mexican street food. Elote is the Mexican version of corn on the cob and is sold from smoking hot street vendor set-ups, some which are simply large tricycles with grills attached to the back. The piping hot, slightly charred corn is messily lathered with mayonnaise, rolled in cojita cheese, sprinkled with chile and handed to drooling customers, often with wedges of lime. Unbelievably good (and messy) after a night of tequila drinking!
*I don’t include exact specifications because you can make as many ears as you like with the general instructions below.
*Silks are the silky thread-like pieces under the husks. I pull and cut mine away with kitchen shears and then use a good veggie scrubber to clean up any difficult, sticky pieces.
*I list several options for the toppings, because they all do the job (taste great) – it’s really just a matter of preference.
*Cojita cheese is a crumbly Mexican cheese, sometimes called Mexican Parmesan cheese. It is usually found in the Hispanic sections of grocery stores, or in the cheese section. Another option is Queso Fresco, which is usually sold in a block and you can crumble with a fork.
- Fresh ears of corn, silks removed, husks left attached
- 2-inch wide band of foil (one per ear of corn)
- Sour cream, Greek yogurt, or mayonnaise
- Cojita cheese
- Cayenne pepper, Chile powder, or smoke paprika
- Lime, optional
Wrap each ear with a band of foil to keep the husks in place. Soak corn in a large bowl of cold water, 15 minutes. Remove and shake off excess water.
Grill corn directly over heat source, turning often, until husks are charred and kernels are tender, about 10 minutes.
Transfer corn to a cutting board or large dish. Peel back husks and spread sour cream over the cobs. Sprinkle or roll in cojita cheese and season with Cayenne or Chile for a kick, or smoked paprika for a sweet & smoky flavor. Serve immediately, with lime wedges for squeezing if you like.