If you love corn and creamy sauces, you’ll love these Mexican street food corn-on-the-cobs, also known as Elotes.
What is Elotes?
Like so many things in the world of etymology, the history behind names can be simple or complicated. Well, here it’s simple. “Elotes” is a Spanish name from Central America for corn on the cobs. The cobs are supposed to be held by the stalk of the corn and eaten with the hands. Nowadays, trimmed corn on the cobs can be eaten with corn picks.
Ingredients in Elotes
Cotija Cheese is an aged cow’s milk cheese that comes from Cotija, Mexico. It has a salty taste and a crumbly texture. Although it would be great to suggest using Cotija Cheese in the Elotes recipe, it’s challenging to find in the UK. Luckily, parmesan cheese shares similar properties and can be used in this recipe instead. Feta cheese also makes a suitable replacement.
The Sauce – While we love to talk about tradition in food, Elotes are often served with a mix of Mexican crema, a thinner tangy sour cream, and European mayonnaise. To make the sauce for these Elotes, I’ve mixed equal quantities of regular mayo and sour cream with crushed garlic and lime juice.
Ancho Chilli Flakes – Ancho chilli refers to the dried poblano chilli. The poblano chilli is milder than most other chillies associated with Central American cuisine, such as jalapenos and habaneros. Ancho chilli flakes offer a fruitier flavour reminiscent of raisins with a hint of smokiness.
Corn-on-the-cobs vs Cobettes – I’ve always used corn cobettes as they seem readily available compared to the larger whole ears of corn. These uncut ears are what is generally meant by corn on the cobs. However, it doesn’t matter too much.
A Variation on Elotes – Esquites
Esquites may also be known as “Elote en Vaso” or “corn in a cup.” Recipes for Elotes and Esquites are similar, using the same ingredients, except the corn is cut from the cob in Esquites.
Elotes (Mexican Street Corn)
- 4 Corn on the Cobs
- 50 g Butter Melted
- 150 ml Sour Cream
- 150 ml Mayonnaise
- 1 Garlic Clove Finely Chopped
- Juice and Zest of 1 Lime
- 100 g Parmesan Grated
- 2 Tbsp of Ancho Chilli Flakes
- Salt to taste
- 5 g Coriander Chopped to Finish
- 1 Lime Cut into Wedges to Finish
- Preheat an overhead grill to high or heat up the barbecue.
- Brush the corn on the cobs with the melted butter. Place the corn under the grill or on the bbq until well charred, turning so all sides char equally. This should take around 12-16 minutes.
- While the corn is cooking, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime juice in a small bowl. Stir through the zest, garlic, and salt to taste.
- When the corn is cooked, top the hot corn with the sauce, a liberal sprinkle of the ancho chilli flakes and parmesan.
- Finish garnished with coriander and lime wedges.