RECIPE: Elotes, Mexican street food in your kitchen

Bring some authentic street food of Mexico to your kitchen with elotes. Photo: Amelia Ames

Provo, UTAH, August 15, 2013— You’ve seen them before, shiny chrome food carts parked at busy intersections serving up tacos and burritos. Did you ever harbor that misconception that food from a food cart can’t be as good as what is found in a restaurant? Get that silly notion out of your head right now. Some of the best Mexican food you will ever eat comes from those carts. Be brave and broaden your horizons. Buy the tamales from the tamale lady outside the grocery store. Get those tacos from the gas station outside of town. You are going to love them.

One wonderful street food choice from our neighbors to the south has not gained as much traction in the US as it deserves. This is elotes. Mayonnaise, cotija cheese, a little lime, and some chili powder are all you need to bring Mexican street food to your house. Though it may pull some Americans a bit out of their comfort zone, elotes are a must-try for food lovers.

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With summer not quite over, and fresh sweet corn still available, you really have no excuse for not trying this dish. The ingredients are simple, the methods easy, and the results: delicioso! Amounts are not given as you should adjust based on how much you want to make. An 8 ounce hunk of cotija cheese should amply cover 6 ears of corn. If you need more kick use some ancho or chipotle chili powder.

Ingredients for Elotes:

fresh ears of sweet corn, shucked

mayonnaise (not salad dressing)

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cotija cheese

chili powder

lime wedges

wooden skewers, or corn handles

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Cooking Method:

Break cotija cheese into chunks and pulse in a food processor until crumbly. Grill the ears of corn over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 to 10 minutes taking care to not char them too much. Push a wooden skewer through the stem end of the corn. Slather with mayonnaise, and roll in cotija cheese. Squeeze a lime wedge over each ear and sprinkle with chili powder. Eat and try to not be overwhelmed by the awesomeness.


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Amelia Ames

Amelia Ames is a food writer and reviewer for Communities @Washington Times.  Her column Kitchen Journeys seeks to find the best in food, and those that prepare it for us.  Read more of her recipes, reviews and news at Gastronomy Girl. She received a B.S. in Zoology-Entomology from Brigham Young University.

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