There’s a no-grill way to enjoy this classic Mexican street food
Elotes, the classic Mexican street food of corn on the cob charred on the grill, is quickly becoming a popular Texas snack food.
But there are times when setting up the grill isn’t optional or even desired. On those occasions, go for esquites, the spoon-ready version of elotes. The key to great esquites is to trim the kernels off the cob before you cook them. Cook the kernels in a very hot skillet or wok, let them char, toss and let them char some more. The pan should be hot enough to cause the kernels to pop and jump. A combination of garlic, mayonnaise, cheese, lime and chili ensures great flavor — smoky, sweet, spicy and tangy. Add these remaining ingredients while the corn is still hot. It can be served hot or room temperature, which makes it a great picnic, party or potluck dish.
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 ears of corn, shucked, kernels removed (about 3 cups)
Kosher salt for seasoning
2 ounces Cotija cheese or feta, finely crumbled
½ cup scallions, green part only, finely sliced
½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, stemmed and finely chopped
1-2 medium garlic cloves, minced (about 1-2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
Chili flakes to taste
Heat oil on high until shimmering. Add corn, season with salt, toss and cook without moving until charred on one side (about 2 minutes). Toss, stir and repeat until charred on both sides.
Continue tossing and stirring until well charred, about 10 minutes.
Add cheese, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, mayonnaise, lime juice, pepper flakes and toss. Adjust seasoning and serve warm or room temperature.