Elote, aka Mexican Corn on the Cob

There is a very sweet woman who sells tamales out of a cooler close to my apartment. She has a food cart, despite the crazy Chicago food cart rules (the food cannot be cooked in the cart), and the tamales are huge. I often pick up a few for dinner on my way home from work. Last time I was there, someone else ordered elote – an offering I didn’t know she served. It looked delicious, so when I saw sweet corn at the farmer’s market this past Sunday, I knew I would be making this Mexican specialty.

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I have never made elote before, and I didn’t even bother to look up a recipe. I just decided to “wing it” based on what I saw my tamale lady throwing together. I’m not sure how traditional this is, but Eric certainly gobbled it right up. And it’s so simple and easy. I did not have any parsley or cilantro on hand, but I imagine this would be even better with some fresh herbs mixed in. Instead, I topped it with some cilantro pesto I made recently – that satisfied my need for fresh herbiness (yes, herbiness). I also decided to cut the corn off the cob since I don’t particularly enjoy eating corn on the cob, but you can certainly prepare this on the cob as well.

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Elotes, aka Mexican Sweet Corn

inspired by the tamale lady, who I’ve since learned calls her stand Elotes. Genius.

3 cobs fresh sweet corn
1/4 cup cotija cheese, or other fresh Mexican cheese
1 tablespoon mayonnaise (if I had it, I would have preferred to use a Mexican crema, sour cream, crème fraiche, or even greek yogurt)
1 teaspoon butter
juice of one lime
salt and pepper

Boil corn in a pot of salted water for a few minutes, until tender. Using a sharp chef’s knife, scrape the corn kernels from the cob. In a mixing bowl, combine with the rest of ingredients. For variation, try adding parsley, cilantro, or another fresh herb.

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