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Diva: Spice up your corn for Cinco de Mayo

Next Thursday is Cinco de Mayo (AKA drink margaritas day) and we’re going to be seeing lots of themed parties over the weekend. So, in honor of all the celebrating, the beautiful weather, the coming of summer and breaking out the grill: I’m sharing a fabulous recipe for Mexican street corn, also called “Elotes”.

Elotes are a popular Mexican street food that is easy to make at home. If you’ve ever been to Mexico you’re probably familiar with street vendors selling this delicious grilled sweet corn slathered in a tangy creamy cheese sauce with chili and lime. Divine!

I’m sure there are a million different ways to make Mexican street corn. I’m not claiming that my recipe is 100 percent authentic. I do however claim that it is 100 percent delicious.

You’ll need to bust out the grill for this recipe as elotes are always grilled. Isn’t it amazing what grilling does to corn? As the sugars caramelize, the corn tastes even sweeter with that beautiful hint of smoke. The authentic Mexican ingredients can be purchased in the ethnic areas of the grocery store or at Carnicerias or you can use the common substitutions shown.


Serves: 4 to 6Time: 30 minutes

What You’ll Need:

6 ears corn – on the cob

¼ cup Mexican Crema – or sour cream

¼ cup mayonnaise

¾ cup cotija cheese, crumbled – divided – or feta or parmesan

2 tablespoons cilantro – minced – divided

2 limes

½ teaspoon chili powder – plus more for dusting

Cayenne pepper – optional

Here’s How:

Remove the husk and silk from the corn. As an attractive option; tie the still attached husk with twine to make a handle. Soak the corn in water for 20 minutes.

Preheat a clean, oiled grill to medium heat. Grill the corn for no more than 10 minutes, rotating every 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine mayo, crema, ½ cup cotija cheese, 1 tablespoon cilantro, chili powder and juice and zest of half a lime. Place the remainder of cheese on a plate.

Remove corn from the grill. Evenly coat corn in the cheese sauce then roll in reserved cheese. Drizzle with remaining sauce and sprinkle more cilantro and dust with chili powder. Add some cayenne if you like it spicy. Squeeze the other half lime over everything. Serve with extra lime quarters. You can adjust the ingredients to taste, more lime or no cilantro. It’s all good.

This method of preparing corn is so addictive I plan for two ears of corn per person. To make this more kid-friendly and easier to eat you can cut the corn in half and stick it on heavy wooden skewers. This also helps roll the corn in the cheese.

For budget entertaining, make this the bulk of your celebration meal. This way you can splurge on a smaller amount of a more expensive treat, like shrimp or good steak for tacos.

However you celebrate – fiesta like there’s no mañana!

Fabulous Food contributed by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom.

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