On a typical school day in Mexico City a parent has two enemies, the traffic and the street food cart! When we were kids, my siblings and I would beg my parents to buy us one of the many assortments of snacks sold on these carts, like the corn on the cob. Strategically positioned outside of schools, metro stops, and other family-friendly areas, the street snack carts offer a wide assortment of delicious goodies “But you have to watch for cleanliness” — my dad would warn, gel hand sanitizer wasn’t a thing back then…
One of my favorite snacks was the “elote” (corn on the cob), served warm and smothered in mayonnaise or Mexican cream and sprinkled with lime, chili powder and queso fresco or sometimes parmesan cheese.
Some other popular street foods in Mexico include, fruits and veggies like the mango on a stick, sliced jicama or cucumbers, also sprinkled with lime and chili powder, and the famous “papitas”, which are fresh out-of-the fryer potato chips soaked in lime and Valentina hot sauce. You can also have your corn off-the-cob, known in Mexico City as “Esquites” and in my other favorite city of Aguascalientes as “Chascas”, you pick the toppings!
Recently I took it upon myself to master the grilling of corn. Since I’m not ashamed to admit that this was my first time even turning on the grill, I’ll also admit that I tweaked this recipe after my first trial and error run, the first time I ended up with dry corn. So as you’ll figure out, the trick to this recipe is mostly in the grilling. Which is why you should follow these instructions carefully for best results. And one more tip: leave the husks on and soak the corn in water over-night before grilling.
Mexican Grilled Corn on the Cob
4 ears of corn with husks
1 TBSP olive oil
Mayonnaise or 1 cup Greek Yogurt
Grated parmesan cheese
1. HEAT the Grill to 350 degrees.
2. PEEL back the corn husks half-way, remove the silk and brush on some olive oil. Close the husks back up.
3. WRAP each ear of corn in aluminum foil and seal the ends tightly.
4. PLACE each ear of corn directly on the grill for 15 minutes, turn once and leave on for another 15 minutes. Total grilling time will be 30 minutes.
5. REMOVE the corn with steel tongs, place each ear on a plate and let them cool off for five minutes.
6. PEEL the corn husks off.
7. ADD your toppings liberally starting with the lime juice. You can substitute the mayonnaise with greek yogurt for less calories. Sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese and tajin seasoning on top.