Mexican Street Corn
I tasted Mexican Street Corn for the first time at the Blind Burro in Downtown San Diego and I fell in love. I had to recreate it.
Courtesy of Chris Santos, Food Network
- 2 1/2 tablespoons chipotle powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 6 ears corn
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema, or mayonaise
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- Zest of 2 limes
- Lime juice
For the chipotle salt: Combine the chipotle powder and salt and store in an airtight container.
For the corn: Heat a grill or grill pan over high heat until hot, and then add the corn and char on all sides, turning occasionally, until blackened in parts, 12 to 15 minutes. Alternatively, oven roast the corn with the husks at 350C for 30 minutes, or until soft. Remove the husks and char the corn over a gas stove. When cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off the cobs.
Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat and saute the onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the charred corn kernels and cook until warmed. Stir in 1/2 cup of the cheese, the mayonnaise, cilantro and lime zest. Season with 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of the chipotle salt.
Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup cotija cheese and more chipotle salt. Squeeze lime juice over the corn.
This was exactly what I was hoping for. The flavors and textures are simply incredible and harmonious. The char on the sweet corn, the sweet creaminess of the Mexican crema, the salty cumble of the cotija cheese, the citrus of the lime zest and juice, and the bold punch of the chipotle pepper are just unbelievable. This makes an excellent side dish. It also goes well on a taco or in a burrito. Either way, it is delicious.
The original recipe calls for mayonnaise, which is probably easier to find, but you just have to go for Mexican crema. It has the better consistency and the dash of sweetness for balance. Also, it might be difficult to find chipotle powder anywhere. The Mexican market I went to didn’t even have it. But they did, however, have whole dried chipotle peppers. I just de-seeded them and put them in a blender to make them into powder.
As a caution, don’t immediately put all of the chipotle salt or the cotija cheese. Add them in increments and keep tasting until you get the perfect amount. Too much of either or both will set the dish overboard on the salty profile.