One of the classic street foods of Mexico, Elote is corn on the cob seasoned with a creamy, buttery spread and sprinkled with fresh lime juice and Cotija cheese. It is unbelievably good, truly addicting, and a treat that lingers in your mind long after you’ve returned home from vacation.
On a recent trip to Las Vegas, we went to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Along with the traditional chips and salsa, ears of Elote corn were delivered to the table. Oh My, I’m still dreaming of them!
So when I heard that today’s Food Network FN Dish focus was corn on the cob, I took some of the flavors of Elote corn and converted them into a casserole. You get the essence of the Mexican street delicacy without having to hop on a plane. If corn on the cob is not in season or unavailable, frozen corn kernels would be nearly as good as fresh and cook in about the same amount of time.
I grew up eating ear after ear of corn in the summers as a child. My parents were from Indiana and shared their passion for fresh corn with all of us. I loved chomping down on the corn, the kernels popping between my teeth, pretending I was a typewriter, munching from one end to the other with the obligatory “ding” at the end of each row. But as I got older I found the corn much easier to eat once the kernels were cut off the cobs. I now nearly always trim the ears and serve the corn spooned onto the plates.
To bump the “fill me up” factor, I added some boiled potatoes. Potatoes are originally from South America; just a touch south of Mexico so I didn’t think you would mind the addition. You can leave them out if you want, but they hit my comfort food button big time!
I normally would have added Cotija cheese to mimic the Elote flavors, but I had a friend joining us for dinner who is lactose intolerant. She was very happy to be able to eat the entire meal and not miss out on this great casserole. Feel free to add cheese if you want, it would make it even better!
The tomatoes in the market are absolutely gorgeous and I couldn’t resist them. They scream summer to me and add a beautiful contrasting color. Their flavors blend perfectly with the Mexican seasonings and boost the vegetable quotient making this a healthier choice for either a vegetarian entrée or side dish to grilled meats and poultry.
I can’t wait to see how all the other people chose to prepare their corn on the cob this week. Check out the links below and enjoy this dish all summer long!
Jane’s Tips and Hints:
Breaking the corn cobs in half helps keep the corn from slipping when you are working with it. It always makes me nervous when I see people sawing away with the ears wobbling dangerously.
This dish is naturally gluten-free. The only place where gluten might hide is in the ground chile powders. Be sure to check with the manufacturer if you have any questions.
Mexican Elote Corn Casserole
© 2014 Jane Bonacci, The Heritage Cook. All rights reserved.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
1/4 cup melted, salted butter, about half a stick
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground ancho chile powder
1/4 tsp ground mojito chile powder, or other spicy red chile powder
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
6 medium red potatoes
2 poblano peppers, stems and seeds discarded, chopped finely
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 ears shucked corn
1 cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed and quartered
1/4 cup finely chopped Italian parsley, for garnishing
Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch square baking pan.
Boil the potatoes until they are nearly cooked through. A slender sharp knife inserted into the potatoes will meet some resistance and will not easily slip back out. Drain the potatoes and transfer to a cutting board. Cut each one into small, bite-sized cubes.
Place the potatoes in the bowl with the seasoned butter mixture. Add the poblano peppers and onions. Toss to coat with the butter and transfer to the prepared baking pan. Place in the oven and back for 15 minutes.
Shuck the ears of corn and break each ear in half. This gives you flat surfaces to stabilize the corn, reducing your risk of getting cut. Set each piece, flat side down on a cutting board and use a sharp knife to slice the kernels off the cob.
Pull the baking dish out of the oven and add the corn and most of the tomatoes, again tossing to coat with the seasoned butter. Return the pan to the oven and continue baking for another 15 minutes.
Remove from the oven, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, arrange the reserved tomatoes on the top for some bright color and serve immediately.
Create a New Tradition Today!
This recipe is part of Food Network’s weekly Summer Soiree. See the links below for more inspiration and great recipes!
The Lemon Bowl: Corn on the Cob with Lemon Basil
Feed Me Phoebe: Grilled Corn on the Cob with Honey-Basil Butter
The Heritage Cook: Mexican Elote Corn Casserole (Gluten-Free)
The Cultural Dish: New England Seafood Boil
Dishing With Divya: Corn on the Cob with Roasted Garlic Herb Butter
Virtually Homemade: Grilled Corn with Tomato Basil “Butter” (Vegan)
Devour: 4 Cobs, 4 Ways
Daily*Dishin: Quick Thyme Corn Cobbettes
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Farmers Market Salad with Grilled Corn
Red or Green: Grilled Corn on the Cob
Elephants and the Coconut Trees: Buttery Corn on the Cob
Weelicious: Cheesy Corn on the Cob
Domesticate Me: Charred Corn with Bacon, Chiles and Cheese (aka Mexican Street Corn Salad)
Swing Eats: Corn Pasta with Fresh Summer Corn, Tomatoes and Chives
Haute Apple Pie: Roasted Corn off the Cob Salad
Taste With The Eyes: Grilled Corn, Soy Mirin Glaze and Wasabi Goat Butter
In Jennie’s Kitchen: Corn and Lemon Thyme Ice Cream + Homemade Creamed Corn
FN Dish: Off-the-Chart Corn on the Cob Recipes
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