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June 11 is National Corn-on-the-Cob Day


In honor of this food holiday, let me introduce you to elote: the ridiculously good Mexican corn-on-the-cob.

Elote is the Aztec word for corn-on-the-cob. The most traditional way of serving it on the streets of Mexico City is to steam it, then garnish it with lime, salt, mayonnaise, cheese, and chile powder.

Luckily for us, this deliciously different dish is easy to make at home.

I like to make this dish with grilled corn rather than steamed. I love the flame-kissed flavor that the grill adds to corn. Some folks grill their corn in the husk, but I prefer the flavor when the kernels have been cooked directly on the grill. If you’d like, keep the husk for presentation or to use as a handle for eating the corn.

The ingredient in this dish that you may be questioning is the mayonnaise. The mayonnaise is what helps the cheese adhere to the corn. You only use a thin layer so you really don’t taste it.

And what type of cheese do you use? Cotija cheese is the traditional option. It is an aged cow’s milk cheese from Mexico. You can find it at Latin markets and many grocery stores either whole or pre-crumbled.

A sprinkling of cayenne adds a little kick. Add as much or as little as you would like.

And don’t forget the finishing touch to this fiery corn-on-the-cob … a squeeze of lime.

This is Jennifer Chandler with The Weekly Dish. Bon Appetit!

Elote: Mexican Corn-on-the-Cob

  • Vegetable oil, for the grates
  • 4 large ears corn, shucked
  • 2 tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup cojita cheese, crumbled
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Cayenne pepper
  • 4 lime wedges

Preheat a clean grill to medium-high with the lid closed for 8 to 10 minutes. Lightly brush the grates with oil.

Brush the corn with the butter. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, until just tender and slightly charred on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total. Remove from the grill.

Spread the cheese on a large plate. While the corn is still warm, spread 1 tablespoon of mayonnaise evenly over each cob. Roll the cob in the cheese, sprinkle with the cayenne pepper to taste, and finish with a squeeze of lime.

Serves 4.

Recipe used with permission from Simply Grilling by Jennifer Chandler.



Jennifer Chandler graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris at the top of her class. She is a freelance food writer, restaurant consultant, and author of four cookbooks.