It’s a near-universal axiom that food becomes ten times more awesome when it’s served on a stick. Take American corn dogs, for example. Off the stick, they’re puffy, weird logs of dubious nutrition. On the stick: awesome! Elote asado, grilled corn on the cob, is a popular street food in Mexico, topped with salty fresh cheese, spicy chile powder and (wait for it) typically served on a stick. Made at home, you can keep the awesome and lose the stick by grilling the corn in their husks, then flipping them inside-out to make a built-in handle. Delicious and fun to eat.
In Rick Bayless’ version, the sweet corn first steams inside their husks, then goes skinny-dipping on the grill for a quick browning before getting slathered with sour cream and sprinkled with zippy toppings: cilantro, lime, cotijia and chile powder. Serve with fish tacos or grilled fajitas for an easy-peasy, festive summer side dish.
Mexican Grilled Corn
adapted from Authentic Mexican by Rick Bayless, 1981; serves six
- 6 ears of sweet corn, in husks
- 3 Tbsp melted butter
- 1/2 C sour cream with enough milk or cream to loosen
- 1/3 C crumbled Mexican cheese (queso fresco, anejo or cotijia)
- 1 Tbsp hot chile powder
- minced cilantro
- 1/2 lime
Soak the corn for an hour in a deep bowl of water or a clean sink, weighted down with a plate. Grill in the husks over medium-high heat, about 15-20 minutes, until blackened. When cool enough to handle, remove the silk and husks. (Or remove the silks and use the husks as a handle.)
10 minutes before serving, brush the corn with butter and grill until browned. Remove from heat. Serve with the fixings or prep for your guests: brush the corn with sour cream; sprinkle with chile powder, salt, cheese and cilantro. Squirt a bit of lime juice over all. Serve warm with the remaining fixings.