This past spring we flew to Chicago to watch the Twin’s take on the White Sox. It’s the first Twin’s away game we’ve been to and it sure was fun to be a fan at an away game. We sat behind the Twin’s dugout and since there were very few Twin’s fans, ended up catching a ball used for infield warm ups. The first base coach pretty much threw it right to us – a few innings in after they had exhausted all the kids in Twin’s gear first! And of course besides the game, you know I was all about the food while we were in Chicago and that included the food at the ball game. Comiskey Park had a vendor that sold ‘Elotes’ which is Mexican Street Corn. They actually cut it off the cob in front of you then topped it with mayo, butter, chili lime powder, some cilantro and some cotija cheese. We knew we had to make our own version at home.
We’ve made a few versions of corn salads at home, although the only one I’ve gotten around to posting is our Grilled Corn & Zucchini Salad. We’ve even tried a recipe from Jeff Mauro for Elotes with a Pablano Crema. But what I liked about the version we saw in Chicago was the simplicity. We took what we remembered of the vendor at the ballpark doing and made our own version at home. If you’ve never thought of mayo on corn – stay with me – I definitely am a believer now. It’s a good creamy base for the jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, green onion, chili powder and of course salty cotija cheese. Oh and for good measure as well as a little crunch we added some bacon too.
Here’s what you need:
Start by shaving the kernels off 3 ears of corn. You can use a knife, but I love this little tool since it catches the kernels. (Note: If you want to cook the corn on the grill, so this step after you char the corn).
Get your mise en place (basically your prep work) done by mincing up a quarter of a japaleno, 2 t of cilantro, and cutting about a quarter cup of green onion on the bias (diagonally).
We want to char the corn a little bit. You could grill it and then cut if off, but it was raining the day I took made this and took pictures so I made it inside. Sauté the corn on medium to medium-high heat with just a little bit of olive oil for about 3-4 minutes until charred. If you grill it, grill over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes turning so all the corn gets charred. You are looking for a few blackened kernels.
I let the corn cool for a few minutes before finishing the recipe. You do want to serve it warm but it doesn’t need to be piping hot. And if you’ve grilled the corn you need to be able to handle it to remove the kernels.
In a medium bowl, toss the corn with the prepped green onion, cilantro, jalapeno, some mayo, a couple tablespoons of cotija cheese, a sprinkle of chili powder, 2 slices of crumbled bacon (about a ¼ cup) and the juice of half a lime.
Mix it all together.
Now give it a taste. If you want some more salt you could sprinkle in some salt or add a bit more cheese. Feel free to squeeze in a little more lime for some tang. Adjust it how you see fit.
- 3 ears corn, shucked
- Olive oil
- 2 slices of bacon, crumbled
- 2 T cotija cheese
- 2 T mayo
- ¼ t japalpeno, finely minced
- 2 t cilantro, finely minced
- Chili powder, sprinkle
- ½ lime, juice of
- ¼ green onion, sliced on the bias
- Remove kernels from the corn. Heat a tablespoon or so of olive oil in a large pan over medium –high heat. Add the corn and cook 3 to 4 minutes until just starting to char.
- Remove corn to a medium bowl and allow to cool for a few minutes. You want it warm but not piping hot. Toss corn with all remaining ingredients.
- Adjust seasoning to taste.