Corn has never been a vegetable commonly found in our home. Every now and then creamed corn shows up on my grandmother’s table, and honestly, it’s one of those foods that I can take or leave, depending on my level of hunger. Corn on the cob hasn’t been an option for me since an accident in the 8th grade that involved socks, a slippery stairwell and a broken front tooth. Yeaaaah… it’s as ugly as it sounds! Let’s just say, I would have fit right into the Clampett family. I’ve never been more thankful for dentists who take emergency phone calls on Sunday nights or for my friend, Virginia, who put my tooth in a bag full of milk and used incredible willpower to not laugh when I showed her my hillbilly smile. My point being, I have not bitten into a corn cob, apple, or any other hard piece of food using my front teeth in over 15 years.
Last year, Patrick and I took a quick trip down to Miami to celebrate his birthday and ultimately eat our way though the city. Surprisingly, my favorite bite of food from that trip was Coyo Taco’s esquites – a creamy corn off the cob snack typically served by Mexican street food vendors. They are similar to elotes, which are served on the cob, instead. I couldn’t get this flavorful, creamy corn out of my mind after leaving Miami, and eventually decided that I had to learn how to make it at home.
Most of the recipes I found used mayonnaise, chili powder, cotija cheese and lime juice. In my version below, I swapped the mayonnaise for plain greek yogurt to lighten it up a bit. The tang of the yogurt blends perfectly with the bright splash of lime juice and creamy cotija cheese. We Rada’s are wimps when it comes to spicy food, but if you like heat, I would recommend adding a hot pepper, such as poblano, jalapeño or chili. If you’re unable to find cotija cheese, try feta or freshly grated parmesan as an alternative. We’ve tried all three cheeses and love each equally!
The use of frozen corn in this recipe makes it such a simple dish to throw together on a weeknight, and in any season. You should be able to get about 4 servings based on the amounts listed below, but you can easily double or triple when feeding a crowd!
Mexican Street Corn
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 16 oz. bag of frozen corn
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- lime juice, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- 3-4 tablespoons cotija cheese (use feta or parmesan as an alternative)
- In a large skillet, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add in entire bag of frozen corn and cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes. Corn will brown and may even begin to pop when it’s almost ready.
- Stir in minced garlic to corn, cooking for about 45 seconds until garlic is cooked, but not burnt. Remove from the heat.
- In a mixing bowl, combine greek yogurt, chili powder and lime juice. Add in the corn, gently mixing until corn is fully coated.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Top with fresh cilantro and crumbled cotija cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature.
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