One of my favorite aromas is grilled sweet summer corn emanating from Hispanic food stands and taco trucks. Smoky and hot with the presence of a little char, roasted corn on the cob is becoming a common street food here in Texas as it is in Mexico. Known as elote, corn is usually roasted in its husk. When stripped but left attached at the end, the husk (also known as the shuck) becomes the handle with which one eats the corn. Slathered with mayonnaise, lime and chili powder, it is one toothsome treat!
Elote that has been cut off the cob are called esquites, and that’s what I served my delightful bunco group at my Cinco de Mayo feast this year. Served with traditional Mexican accompaniments of mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, cayenne pepper and Cotija cheese, I took my esquites one step further by adding black beans and scallions. It was very well received!
Roasted corn (esquites) with black beans, lime dressing and queso Cotija
4 ears corn, husks on
½ – 1 can black beans (14-oz), rinsed and drained
2 scallions, chopped
Lime dressing (see below)
1/3 cup queso Cotija (Cotija cheese), crumbled
To roast the corn: Soak corn with husks intact in cold water for 30 minutes. Drain water and pat dry. Broil or grill corn, turning every few minutes, until the husks char and corn kernels are cooked but still firm, about 12 – 18 minutes depending on the intensity of the heat. Cool and remove husks. Cut kernels off the cob and place them in a bowl.
Add black beans, scallions and lime dressing. Toss to combine and top with crumbled Cotija cheese and sprig of cilantro.
1/3 cup mayonnaise (sour cream or yogurt would be fine as well)
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ teaspoon chili powder, or a little more to taste
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon salt