I grew up on corn. I mean, sweet corn. And we, from the South, think our Silver Queen variety is the best. I evolved with that notion.
Having lived out West for a while now, I’ve got to say, the Idaho and Utah varieties aren’t too shabby. They don’t seem to be rotted by worms (like ours often can be) and they are good enough for my husband to peel and eat without so much as a water bath.
All that said, corn is best eaten this time of the year. In season only! Picked fresh, as close by as possible, and cooked or preserved as soon as you can. The ears I bought at the farmer’s market last weekend were still warm from the sun when I dunked them in the pot to boil. All I can say is, yummmm.
The corn season is so short lived that it is hard to think about eating it any other way than straight-up, boiled and on the cob with butter and salt. Why mess with a good thing, right?
Several years ago I had my first taste of how they do it in Mexican though. This taste, forever changed my perception. This Mexican street food favorite is prepared with a unique twist and while enjoying the purist American version is great, I have to say I like theirs better. Once I tried “elote” I was hooked.
First the corn is slow roasted. Then it is peeled, stabbed with a stick so it is easy to eat and slathered in a layer of mayonnaise. Next comes a hearty helping of crumbled Mexican cheese, which sticks to the mayo and corn. It is finished with a sprinkle of lime and chili spice and ready for you to enjoy.
Once I tried Mexican corn on the cob, I was forever a devotee and began making mine at home in much the same way. In addition to the version on the cob, there is also a version in a cup. This takes much of the mess (but some of the fun) out of corn on the cob and offers options for its use!
I recently prepared my corn this way at home. I offered to do the same for my husband, but he opted to stay with the American version. That is, until he tasted mine. At this point, mind you, the offer to cut his was off the cob and season it was off table as I was already eating dinner.
Anyway, it got me thinking that this side dish would be a great addition to the top of a taco. Rather than (or even in addition to) salsa, this flavor corn would make a great topping or stuffing for almost any Mexican dish.
Elote is easy to make and when cut of the cob very versatile. You can prep most of the dish well ahead of town if you like and warm it up when you are ready to use. Or, it is pretty good room temperature too.
Use this as a dip, in place of salsa, on top a salad, or just as a side dish. Make it now while good corn is still in season and enjoy!