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Mexican street corn, my latest craze!

Last time we talked about canning summer vegetables, and I told you that I had found a recipe for canning corn. That got me thinking, I love fresh corn but have it so seldom. What the heck is going on? I think that the problem is that I have a lazy streak and cleaning corn can be a hassle, plus it does take a while to cook on the grill (which I think is ultimately the best way). But really, isn’t it worth the minor labor of pulling the husks and silk off and running them under cold water in the sink? I believe that corn in almost any format is delicious, but I recently wanted to find a new way to serve corn on the cob.

When I was a kid, mom would often boil fresh corn and serve it anointed with lots of butter and a little salt and pepper. What could be better? I do seem to remember a creamy corn casserole that was pretty good too, and sometimes, we would roast the corn on an outdoor grill to go along with the burgers. 

I decided that there had to be other interesting ways to cook corn, so I turned to my dear friend, Google. Scrolling through all the recipes I found one that caught my eye: Mexican street corn. Humm, that sounded intriguing. The recipe looked pretty simple, combine creme, mayo, garlic, chipotle, cilantro, lime, and cotija cheese, then slather it on roasted corn. I gave it a try but substituted finely grated parmesan for the Mexican cheese which my grocery does not carry, and it was absolutely delicious. I mean really delicious.

I grilled the corn on an indoor grill and thought it a bit tough, so decided that next time I would boil or steam the corn first, then finish it on a hot grill. I like the cheese substitution too. I also think that next time I’ll finely dice pickled jalapenos as a topping. The cool creme and mayo sauce would contrast well with the fiery little peppers. I suppose you could make this recipe with frozen corn, but fresh is always best. If possible, buy your corn at a certified farmer’s market. That is always going to be your best option.

Mexican street food is becoming widely popular in this country, with street tacos and tamales being at the top of the list, at least for now, but I am putting my money on this recipe. Street corn may have gotten its start in Mexico City, but oddly enough, I saw grilled corn being sold on the streets of Bangkok the last time I was there. Good ideas travel quickly, right? My guess is it’s going to be a regular here soon too.


Written by Julian Brunt

Julian Brunt is a food and travel writer that has been writing about the food culture of the Deep South for over a decade. He is the eleventh generation of his family to live in the South, grew up in Europe, traveled extensively for the first fifteen years after graduating from the University of Maryland, University College, Heidelberg, Germany. Today, he's a contributor for multiple publications, including Our Mississippi Home. He's also appeared on Gordon Ramsay's television show, "To Hell and Back in 24 Hours."


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