Since I live in a pretty small apartment, it takes a lot to get me to turn on the oven during a heat wave. But I often break that rule for fresh corn because it reaches its peak in early summer. The first time I had Mexican corn on the cob or “elote”, was at a small Mexican-Cuban cafe in Brooklyn. It was a warm summer day, I had spent the afternoon walking around the neighborhood, and I’d stopped in for a snack and a drink before heading home to New Jersey. I was craving something different than the usual tacos and when I saw Mexican street corn on the menu — and noticed that most of the diners around me had ordered it — I had to go for it myself. Fresh roasted corn is a long time favorite, and to me, elote is like corn on the cob all dressed up and ready to go.
2 ears of fresh corn in the husk
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
salt to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
chopped fresh cilantro
Large paper plate
2 small (1 1/2-quart) bowls
measuring cups and spoons
1. Set oven to 350 degrees. Place corn directly on the rack and roast for 35 minutes.
2. While corn is roasting, combine paprika and chili powder together in small bowl, then pour it onto a paper plate. Mix sour cream and mayonnaise together in small bowl.
3. Shuck the corn, then brush with the sour cream mixture.
4. Sprinkle corn with salt to taste, roll corn in the spices until well coated, then sprinkle generously with crumbled cheese.
5. Garnish with chopped cilantro.
NOTES & TIPS
• I prefer to use large paper plates for breading or coating foods. This way, when you’re done you can just toss them rather than having to wash extra dishes.
• Traditionally, crema fresca is used instead of sour cream and cotija cheese for the feta. But sour cream and feta are great substitutes if you don’t have a Latin market near you or don’t want to worry about leftover ingredients you might not use.