Living in Chicago I loved going to Lake Shore Drive in the summer and have a picnic. This is where I discovered Elotes! I had never heard of Elotes before living in Chicago and I was sad that I had lived for so long without ever experiencing this amazing ...is delicacy going too far? Perhaps.
Anyway, Elotes is Mexican Street Corn. You get it from a vendor in the park, who sometimes has a cart ON A BIKE!!! It's corn on the cob that is coated with Mayo and Cotija or Queso Fresca Cheese (It's a crumbled cheese that is like a cross between mozzarella and parmesan, sort of) and then sprinkled with salt and chili powder and a squeeze of lime! It might not sound amazing, but this combination is basically heaven.
When I was trying to decide what to make for my very first family holiday gathering last October I decided to make the off-the-cob version as a side dish called Esquites, which basically translates to corn-off-the-cob. This has become my go-to side dish for potlucks as a double batch fits perfectly in my tiny crock pot and travels easily. I found this particular recipe on the food52 website here.
This recipe can easily be made vegan by swapping earth balance for the butter, plant-based mayo, and nutritional yeast instead of the cheese.
For the corn, I have been using the fire roasted frozen corn from Trader Joes.
2 cups corn kernels
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper, diced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons mayo
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
2 tablespoons queso fresco or cotija cheese, crumbled
1 lime to cut into wedges to serve
1. Heat butter in medium saute pan on medium heat. Add the pepper and saute for 2 minutes.
2. Add the corn and salt. Saute for another 4 minutes and remove from heat. Add Mayo and move to serving bowl.
3. Mix in cheese. Sprinkle cayenne and chili powder on top and squeeze lemon wedge to serve.