I love drawing inspiration for new recipes from places I travel. And even places I haven’t personally traveled. My husband has been going to Mexico quite a bit for work lately. Aside from all of the excellent food souvenirs he brings back (tequila, Mexican vanilla extract, tequila, tamarind candy, tequila, agave nectar, tequila), he also brings back stories from all of the awesome meals he eats there.
This dish is inspired by the corn on the cob coated in good stuff like cheese and mayo (called elote) that is sold by street vendors in Mexico. Long-standing jaw problems prevent me from enjoying two of life’s great joys – chewing gum (oh, how I miss it!) and eating corn on the cob. Missing out on both of those things makes me pretty sad, but cutting all my corn off the cob is OK when I jazz the kernels up with a bunch of tasty ingredients and make a Mexican street corn salad.
Before the jazzing commenced, I roasted the kernels to bring out their sweetness, as well as add a bit of “browned goodness” flavor to them. This salad gets a double dose of spiciness from both diced green chiles and cayenne, but the spiciness is tempered by just a smidge of mayonnaise and sour cream. Cotija or feta cheese work well here to add a bit of saltiness, and make sure you add plenty of lime juice for brightness. Warning: seriously addictive.
- 6 ears of sweet corn, silks and husks removed
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
- 2 small garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 3/4 cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon if you’d like it more spicy)
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Cut corn kernels from cobs. Spray rimmed baking pan with nonstick spray. Spread corn in single layer on prepared pan. Roast 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown, stirring twice.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together chiles, garlic, onion, 1/2 cup cheese, cilantro, lime juice, mayonnaise, sour cream, chili powder, cayenne and salt.
- Let corn cool slightly, then toss with mayonnaise mixture until well combined. Serve sprinkled with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.