(Serves 6-12 depending upon portion size, or 24 small bites as an appetizer)

Before you start

Prepare Chipotle-lime Butter by blending room one stick of temperature butter, the juice of 1/2 a lime and adobado from a can of chipotle chiles to taste, starting with a 1 teaspoon and adding more as needed.

You’ll need: wooden chopsticks or similar

Ingredients

  • 6 very fresh corn ears, husks and silk removed
  • 3 sprigs Mexican or regular tarragon
  • 1/2-cup Chipotle-lime butter
  • 1 cup grated Cotija cheese
  • Salt to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add salt and Mexican tarragon and corn. Cook for 3 minutes. Once corn cools down enough to handle, insert chopstick in the thicker end, serving whole or cut ears in half, or even smaller pieces for an appetizer.  Spread with Chipotle-lime Butter (a pastry brush is good for this) and spread Cotija cheese in a tray; roll corn ears in cheese. Add salt if needed.

RIFFS:

Switch out butters. Try Chimichurri Butter, combining ½ a stick of softened butter, 1 tsp. each minced cilantro and flat Italian parsley, 4-5 minced garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons fresh oregano.

Grilled Elote is also delicious and looks impressive. For this, you’ll want to pull back the husk, remove the silks and put the husks back in place. Then, soak the corns in cold water for about 5 minutes before putting them on a grill over hot coals. The water will keep the husks from burning quickly (or catching fire!) and create a steam bath inside each corn for quick cooking. Cook the corn for about 5 minutes or until done (test the kernels, you want them to be tender but not mushy). You can serve these in their husks by peeling back half of the husks on each corn, and leaving the husks in place on the side that is touching the plate. Brush corns with butter of choice (see above). Or, you can remove the husks completely and return the corns to the grill just long enough so that they get grill marks before brushing them with butter. If you opt to return the corn to the grill, you’ll want to slightly undercook them in the step above, while they are still in their husks.

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