Betsy ran off with her mom and a friend for a lady’s weekend in Sedona last weekend (tough life right?). She came back a slight Irish tan and tales of a delicious dinner at Elote Cafe. She said everything was delicious but one of her favorite things they tried was a simple creamed corn kind of appetizer served with crispy tortillas.
I thought it would be fun to try and recreate this based on how she explained it. It turned out amazing. It’s also very different from most dips you’ll find in a Cinco de Mayo spread this weekend. It’ll stand out in the guacamole/queso line-up for sure.
Elote means corn in Spanish but it typically means corn on the cob. This dish is a riff on a classic South American street food that involves corn on the cob topped with crumbled cheese and spices.
1) Preheat oven to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. Lay out corn on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, turning once, until corn is well charred. You can also grill the corn over medium heat.
2) Let corn cool briefly and then shuck. Cut corn kernels off the cob. I find it helpful to cut kernels off in a bowl so the kernels don't scatter all over.
3) In a separate bowl, whisk together mayo, lime, hot sauce, salt, pepper, sugar and stock.
4) Add sauce to a large skillet over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until it starts to bubble.
5) STir in corn and cook for 2-3 minutes until the mixture thickens and the corn is heated through.
6) Transfer corn to a serving bowl (or split between a few) and garnish with crumbled cheese, cilantro, and chili powder. Serve with chips!
Adapted from a Food.com recipe.
Prepping the Corn
I’m not sure what kind of corn the original recipe uses for this dish, but Betsy confirmed that the kernels were nice and big. My guess is that they use some sort of artisan corn. I didn’t look too hard for this and just used plain old sweet corn which you should be able to find in the store this time of year.
You’ll need about four big ears of corn to get started. Just lay them out on a baking sheet and roast them at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes, turning them once or twice throughout the roasting process. You can also grill them over medium heat if you happen to have your grill going.
Let the corn cool until you can handle them and then remove the husks. When it comes to cutting the kernels off, I like to do it in a large bowl. This way when the kernels come off, they won’t scatter all over the place.
Once you have the corn roasted and shucked, the hard part of the recipe is done!
The Sauce Breakdown
Let’s just get this out of the way: The sauce on this dip is a mayonnaise base. I actually thought about making a homemade mayo for my version but decided that there was enough other stuff going into the dish that it probably wouldn’t be noticeable.
Stir together the mayo, hot sauce, salt, pepper, sugar, lime juice, and stock in a small bowl. If you don’t have some stock available, I wouldn’t recommending buying it just for this dish since you only need a few tablespoons. You could use water with maybe a dash of worcestershire sauce to thin the mixture a bit.
Add the sauce ingredients to a large skillet over medium heat and cook it until it starts to bubble. Then toss in all your corn kernels!
Continue to cook and stir for a few minutes until the whole mixture thickens nicely. It won’t take long.
Your finished dip will look something like this:
This dip is great as-is, but the garnishes are really important in my opinion.
When you are ready to serve, pile the corn in a serving bowl and top it with a good amount of each garnish. A good sprinkle of chili powder is essential.
Serve this with lots of tortilla chips and dig in!
Like I said, this is a very different Tex-Mex dip and I doubt that your Cinco de Mayo friends will duplicate it if you bring it to a party. It will also disappear because it’s super-addictive.