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There’s nothing like eating fresh sweet corn in the summer! I think for most of us we usually steam or grill our corn, slather on a little (or a lot) of butter, a dash of salt and pepper maybe and call it a day. Fresh corn, simple and delicious.
But, in Mexico street vendors have been serving up corn in a super delicious way that is only just catching on here in the states. Hot ears of boiled or grilled corn known as elotes are basted with butter, mayonnaise, cotija cheese, a dusting of chiles or a hot sauce and finished with fresh lime. Seasoned just to your liking. Cheesy, spicy corn perfection.
After hearing about these street treats I knew I needed to make them. Immediately. I realized I’d stumbled onto something good when my hubby to be asked, “Why haven’t you been making me corn like this forever?” Umm… Good question.
Now, if you read the word mayonnaise and thought this has to be a typo, I can assure you it is not. And if you’re skeptical like I was at first, I ask you to please try it. You might just be hooked. I was. I now am. And you don’t have to make a big batch. Do one or two ears for a sample. These guys couldn’t be easier to make. A sprinkle of this a dash of that and your done.
Besides the fresh corn and the Cotija Cheese, the ingredients for the Mexican Street Vendor Corn are most likely already in your pantry. If you’re thinking what the hek is Cotija it’s a white, salty and crumbly cow’s milk cheese that named after the town Cotija located in the Mexican state of Michoacán. If you can’t get your paws on some Cotija cheese for this recipe it can easily be substituted for Parmesan or feta.
For the dusting of chile cayenne pepper works perfectly. If you’re feeling frisky try some other types of chiles you may have in your spice cabinet. I used a 50/50 split of cayenne and ancho chile powder. I also used a few dashes of Tajin. Tajin is one of my favorite Mexican seasonings. Its an all natural mild chile lime salt that packs a ton of lime and chile flavor. Its typically used to sprinkle on top of fresh veggies and fruits, rim cocktail glasses or simply add flavor to any food that needs a little kick. You can check it out here. Its very addicting.
As for the mayonnaise, everyone’s favorite store bought variety is perfectly fine. Duke’s, Hellman’s. Your choice. This is what most of the street vendors in Mexico are using anyway. But, if you’re feeling adventurous and would like to make your own, by all means do so. Here’s a great recipe to get you on your way to a fantastic batch of homemade mayo. I blended mine with a bit of melted butter simply because butter makes everything better. Fact.
Now here’s the recipe for Mexican Style Street Vendor Corn. No passport required!
Mexican Style Street Vendor Corn
- 4 ears of corn, steamed, grilled or roasted
- 4 tbsp butter, melted
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup cotija cheese grated (you can sub Parmesan, Romano, Anejo or Feta)
- 1 tbs chili powder ( I used a mix of ancho and cayenne)
- 3 limes, cut in wedges
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- salt, to taste
- Boil, roast or grill your corn. Your choice. I cooked mine in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes with the husks on. The corn steams inside the husk and it can then be pulled back and used as a handle.
- Mix the mayonnaise with the melted butter. Set aside.
- Take each ear of corn and evenly sprinkle with lime juice and a little salt making sure to cover the entire ear of corn. Then spread the corn with the mayonnaise butter mixture. Cover completely so every bite is seasoned.
- Now sprinkle the corn with the cheese, again coating the entire ear evenly.
- Finish with a dusting of chile powder and with the chopped fresh cilantro. Add the chile powder a little bit at a time if you are sensitive to heat. Enjoy!