Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Mexican Corn Salad

I love Mexican Corn (Elote). It is reminiscent of summer and home (Texas) for me. Grilled corn with a thin layer of mayo, sprinkled with chili powder, lime and cotija cheese...it's amazing and looks like:

Being that it's about -15° here in Chicago...yes that's NEGATIVE degrees, I thought making this would make me hate life a little less and bring back some happy memories. It worked  for about 20 minutes, then we went back to this...

I made this into a salad for a couple of reasons:

1) Where do you find fresh corn in -15°? You don't.
2) I wanted to add avocado.
3) I wanted to scoop a ton of it into my mouth at once, not so easily done on a cob. 

So there. 


  • 2-15 oz cans whole kernel sweet corn
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons regular or light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 jalapeno, finely diced, seeds removed
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 2 green onions
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cotija cheese 
  • 1 avocado, cut into cubes
  • Chili powder to taste


Melt the butter in a heavy bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Drain corn and add to the buttered skillet. Cook for about 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until it gets slightly charred. Throw in the jalapeno and cook for 2 more minutes. The "char" is key here. It's what makes the Elote unique and delicious. 

Transfer to a bowl and let cool slightly. Add the mayo, grated clove of garlic, green onions and lime juice. Toss until everything is combined. Crumble the Cotija, throw in the avocado cubes and give it another light toss to combine everything. Sprinkle the top with chili power and serve. 

While I was making this, I realized it would be REALLY good even without the mayo. But if you want the  authentic taste of Elote, you need that element. If not, you can omit and it's still a really fresh light tasting side dish. I served mine with Worlds Best Chicken and cornbread. 

*Bonus: this is even better the next day once all the flavors merry and the avocado stays green because of the lime juice* 

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