Bored with fresh corn on the cob? Not me. But variety is the spice of life, and that applies to corn, too. One traditional way to spice up fresh corn is Mexican Street Corn.
I like to create vegetarian menus that include different protein sources. Street Corn is a good example; it’s made with cheese, which adds protein. Round out the menu with a bean salad, and/or a green salad garnished with nuts. Beans and nuts boost the protein in the meal. No meat is necessary.
Mexican Street Corn is pretty easy to make, although it can be messy. Basically you peel back the corn husks, brush the corn with oil and grill or roast in the oven until the corn is done. Then brush the ears with elote sauce — a mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice and chili powder. Sprinkle crumbled cotija cheese over the sauce. Messy but yummy.
If you don’t have fresh corn, you can make Street Corn into a salad or hot dish. Even better, you can add other vegetables and make it more of a main dish (and less messy). Here’s my take on the Mexican Street Corn idea, boosted with more vegetables.
Mexican Street Corn Style Salad
This variation on Mexican Street Corn is a main dish salad, full of vegetables. You can substitute other vegetables, or use other types of cheese. Serve with a bean salad or bean chili to complement the protein sources.
- one 12-oz package frozen corn kernels
- 1 TB corn oil or other neutral oil
- 1/2 diced green or red sweet pepper
- 1/2 to 1 minced jalapeno, to taste (depends on size and heat of jalapeno)
- 1/2 cup minced red onion
- 1 cup fresh tomato, cut into chunks
- 1/2 avocado, cut into small chunks
- 2/3 cup crumbled cotija cheese or other grated cheese (jack, cheddar, mozzarella, feta)
- 3 TB sour cream
- 2 TB mayonnaise
- juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 lime, or more to taste
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp oregano, or 1 TB minced fresh oregano leaves
- 1/2 tsp ground chili (mild)
- 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste
- 2 TB minced fresh cilantro
- Step 1 Cook the corn in the package briefly, according to package instructions, just to thaw. About 3 minutes. Let package cool.
- Step 2 Heat oil in a large skillet. Open corn package and spread evenly on the skillet. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly until the kernels brown a bit, maybe 5-6 minutes (see photo).
- Step 3 Put corn in a mixing bowl. When cooled a bit, add the other chopped vegetable ingredients and stir to combine (see photo)
- Step 4 Mix the dressing ingredients. Pour over the vegetables and mix thoroughly.
- Step 5 Add the cheese to the mixture, stir to combine.
- Step 6 Garnish with cilantro.