Every summer once the sun is out (and actually stays out past 5pm!), my dad and I are ready to grill any and everything! Grilling usually calls burgers and hotdogs to mind, but it’s an incredible way to cook your vegetables, too. My favorite grilled vegetable of ALL time is corn, and the absolute best way to prepare it is the classic, Mexican street corn way: elote! I’ve been obsessed recently with ordering elote from a local taqueria and knew I had to make it at home. To make sure I did the recipe justice I referenced great Mexican chefs like this informative recipe article on MyLatinaTable.com that taught me all about the different between American yellow corn and traditional Mexican white corn.
It elevates an already great vegetable into something beyond delicious. The kernels get beautifully charred on the outside, but sweet on the inside. As soon as the cobs come off the grill, they’re slathered in a tangy lime juice and mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkled with a generous amount of chili powder for spice, queso fresco for creamy, saltiness, and cilantro to round it all out with a fresh, herby note. I like mine with an extra squeeze of lime before I dig in. You may end up with this one all over your face and hands, but that’s how you know it’s delicious!
1. Can I Just Use Elote Seasoning?
There are great seasoning blends, like Tajin, that incorporate all or most of the elote garnishes (even dried lime and cheese!). I think those blends are absolutely delicious, but personally, nothing beats the fresh versions of each topping.
2. American vs Mexican Corn
The type of corn that grows in the US is more tender and sweet than the type that grows in Mexico, so authentic Mexican elote requires the corn to be boiled for a longer period of time (usually with bay leaf or other flavors in the water) before it’s charred.
3. Corn for a Crowd
Elote is perfect for a potluck, picnic, or any summer get together! I like to set it up with all the charred corn piled together beside the toppings, a little corn station if you will! This way, guests can totally customize their elote based on how much of each topping they want.