Sunday, July 11, 2010

Mexican Street Corn With Cheese and Cilantro

While living in Mexico, I became totally and completely obsessed with the street carts that sold hot, steaming corn on the cob. The best part is how they dress the corn--first they slather it with mayo, then a liberal sprinkling of cheese, a splash of margarine spray, and a dash of salt and chili. And wait until you taste this. Absolutamente Perfecto!

The key to making this Mexican street-food is to char the corn on the grill and then brush it with mayonnaise so that the cheese, cilantro, and chile powder stay on the kernels. It’s a trick you will quickly master.

I wasn’t able to get down to my Mexican market early in the week. At the advice of my guy at Caputos Market, I used some finely shredded parmesan cheese instead of cotija. I really loved the flavor using the Parmesan so let’s say this was my version of Mexican street food with an Italian twist.

I have also seen a true Italian version of street corn using olive oil instead of mayonnaise.

Later in the week, I went to the Mexican market to get cotija.

You be the judge which is best. I loved them both!

Bon Appetit!

4 large ears corn, with husks still attached

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 1/2 cups crumbled cotija cheese

4 tbsp. minced fresh cilantro

4 tsp. ancho chile powder

Kosher salt and freshly ground black

margarine spray

pepper, to taste

1 lime, cut into four wedges

Working with one ear of corn at a time, peel back the husks to expose the kernels, leaving husks attached at the base; remove the silk threads and tie husks together with kitchen twine around base of cob to form a handle. Repeat with remaining ears. Transfer corn to a large bowl or pot of water and let soak for 30 minutes.

Build a medium-hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill over medium-high heat. Transfer corn to grill; cook, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove corn from grill and brush with mayonnaise. Place cheese on a plate and roll each ear of corn in cheese to coat. Sprinkle corn evenly with some of the cilantro, chile powder, and salt and pepper, pressing the corn so that seasonings and cheese will adhere to the mayonnaise. Spray lightly with margarine. Serve with lime wedges.