After a trip down the Baja Peninsula and living on street vendors and little hole-in-the-wall dine- ins, I fell in love. I fell deeply, madly, and unequivocally in love. I am a huge fan of all things that start with Mexican. I’m talking about food. Enchiladas, gorditas, chilaquiles, tamales, tacos, churros, and fish tacos (we’ll talk about those later!)…I love it all.
Before my Baja adventure, I was told, “Be careful what you eat and drink. Don’t eat from street vendors, don’t drink the water, and be careful if a guy named Juan comes up to you and gives you a drink of his ‘special’ tequila.” Well, I’m a little bit of a rule bender, or shall I say, explorer, and I threw caution to the wind. I really mean that I chucked it. I ate everything, tried it all, and I was not afraid. This skinny girl has a bit of an iron stomach, too. I don’t know why, but it’s definitely a blessing. I did drink Juan’s tequila, and let’s just say that it was spectacular!
Hear me now, I am NOT giving you permission or my blessing to drink the water. Eat at your own risk! But do this: thoroughly enjoy food that’s not on your daily radar, and give everything a chance. I promise that you won’t be disappointed.
A recent trip to the grocery store had my mouth watering for Mexico. More specifically, I was drooling for Elotes, or Mexican Street Corn. It’s March, but somehow my local store has corn on the cob. So I bought them out and transported myself into August. I instantly remembered the first time I had Elotes while trekking through Baja; I thought my taste buds had died and went to heaven. I vow that I will never, ever have corn on the cob the “normal” way again.
Here’s a recipe with an Epicurean twist, but first things first:
Grill your corn.
There are many ways to do this, but for Elotes, I fully shuck my ears before grilling. I also prefer them grilled to the point of a bit of char. Charring the corn brings out the nutty flavors and gives it a better texture.
1/4 cup Epicurean’s Roasted Garlic Herb Butter at room temperature (Okay, this is where we switch it up. I know we’re straying from traditional mayo, but trust me, give this a whirl.)
1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
1/2 cup finely crumbled cotija cheese and more for serving
1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder and more for serving
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
4 ears shucked corn
1 lime, cut into wedges
While you’re grilling, combine the butter, sour cream, cheese, chili powder, and cilantro in a large bowl. Stir until mixed well.
(PS… if I’m following the traditional recipe, I do add a clove of minced garlic.)
Once the corn is grilled to your preference, place the corn into the bowl with the butter mixture and coat all sides evenly with a spoon. Sprinkle the corn with extra cheese and a dash of chili powder and while they’re still hot, serve them with the lime wedges and perhaps along side some fish tacos. Oh, so good!