Mexican street food is famous for it’s grilled corn on the cob. Esquites is a street food favorite with all of the chile and corn flavor served on crunchy chips.
The fresh summer corn is finally here and do I have the best corn salad recipe for you— Mexican Corn Salad or Esquites! This fast and easy summer recipe has all the authentic Mexican Street Food flavor of traditional Mexican corn on the cob with nothing stuck in your teeth or smeared across your face from ear to ear. See? I told you it is the perfect corn salad.
I wait all year for “fresh from the field” corn on the cob but, to tell you the truth, I’m not so crazy about the mess. I used the say it was because of the kids. You know… the messy, buttery fingers, the butter drips all over the shirt and that’s just me. Imagine the mess the kids made! Now that they are grown and fly airplanes and build “rock crawler” vehicles and stuff like that, I can’t really blame the the kids anymore. I have to admit to everyone that I make this esquites recipe just because I love it.
Esquites is the lesser known relative of elotes, the yummy Mexican grilled corn on the cob that is slathered with mayonnaise, rolled in salty cotija cheese, sprinkled with chile powder and served with a wedge of lime. Esquites takes all of those flavors and stuffs them into a cup to eat with a spoon or with tortilla chips… lots and lots of tortilla chips!
Don’t worry, you won’t have to light up the BBQ every time you are in the mood for this corn salad. I just throw mine into a 450 degree oven and roast them in the husks for a fast and easy weeknight meal. That way, I get all the roasted flavor without taking the time to start up the grill. Traditionally, the corn is cut away from the cob raw and sauted in 2 or 3 tablespoons of oil. Either way is great, just be sure not to over cook the corn.
You will notice that my version of this corn salad has the option of adding sour cream for part of the mayonnaise. It’s not traditional, but mayo can be a little heavy (and has sooo many more calories). I mix sour cream with a small amount of mayo just to keep the “body” of the sauce.
- 6 ears of corn in the husk
- 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ¾ cup good quality mayonnaise
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco or Cholula)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable stock
- salt, to taste
- fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
- 2 ounces crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco (may substitute feta)
- 1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
- Lime wedges
- Corn tortilla chips
- Roast the corn in the husks on a BBQ grill set to medium-high heat until the husks are charred (not burnt) and the corn is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Or, roast the corn in an oven pre-heated to 450 degrees for 10 to15 minutes or until warmed through.
- Do not over cook the corn. Turn when necessary.
- When the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the husks and the silks. Cut the corn from the cob and toss with the minced jalapeno. Sprinkle with sugar.
- While the corn is roasting, mix the mayonnaise, lime juice, hot sauce in a large frying pan. Add 2 or 3 tablespoon of the vegetable stock to make a sauce. Bring to a simmer and immediately lower the heat.
- Toss the corn kernels in the sauce.
- Season with salt, and pepper.
- Pour the esquites into a bowl or individual serving cups.
- Sprinkle with chile powder, crumbled cheese and cilantro.
- Serve warm with tortilla chips and lime wedges for an appetizer or without the chips for a side dish.
Give this recipe a try and let me know how you like it. You can leave a comment on this post or on Facebook. Be sure to “Like” the Everyday Southwest fan page and sign up or our free email updates so you won’t miss a single recipe!
—posted by Sandy