There is nothing better than an ear of simply steamed or grilled fresh corn in the late summer.
Except for this Mexican Grilled Corn.
A bold statement? Well, I'm not planning to give up on plain old corn on the cob any time soon. But I am planning, for the remaining corn months of the year (that's a real thing, you know, the corn months), to alternate unadorned cooked ears of corn with these embellished ears from day to day, week to week, until the air gets nippy and the leaves turn orange and drop from the trees.
And then I will just think about fresh corn for the next 10 months.
But first, Mexican Grilled Corn, known as elotes: In Mexico, you can buy this from street vendors much as you can get a hot dog or soft pretzel here in New York. The ears of corn are grilled, slathered with a spicy, creamy, cheese mayonnaise mixture, and sprinkled with a bit more cheese.
If you can find Mexican crema, use that instead of the sour cream listed below. If you can't find cotija (a dry, crumbly, Mexican cow's milk cheese), use a combination of feta and Parmesan. If you can't find pure ancho chili powder, it's OK to use a chili powder blend. And if you don't have smoked paprika, skip it, or give the corn a final sprinkle of chili powder or regular paprika.
Be resourceful; you don't want to miss out on this summer joy.
Add minced fresh cilantro to the mix if cilantro is your thing. Notice there is no salt or pepper; the cheese and chili powder provide enough saltiness and heat.
Mexican grilled corn
Start to finish:
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
3 tablespoons sour cream or Mexican crema
1/4 cup cotija cheese, divided
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon ancho or chipotle chili powder
8 ears shucked corn
2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
1 lime, halved
Smoked paprika (optional) and additional lime wedges to garnish
Preheat the grill to medium high.
In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise; sour cream; 3 tablespoons of the cheese; garlic and chili powder. Transfer the mixture to a plate, and spread it out a bit.
Brush the corn with the melted butter. Grill the corn for 8 minutes, until it is nicely browned in spots. Roll the corn in the mayo mixture, and place on a serving platter. Squeeze the lime over the corn, sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of cheese, then sprinkle with smoked paprika if desired. Add the lime wedges, and serve immediately.
Nutrition information per serving: 176 calories; 102 calories from fat; 11 g fat (4 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 16 mg cholesterol; 98 mg sodium; 19 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 5 g protein.
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, 'Dinner Solved!' and 'The Mom 100 Cookbook.' She blogs at www.themom100.com/about-katie-workman/