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Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote Asado)

Grilled Corn on the Cob (Elote Asado)
Grilled corn is one of Mexico's favorite street foods. Sometimes the chewy corn is lavished with thick cream, and other times with mayonnaise, but inevitably there are limes and ground chilies for flavor accents. The field corn eaten in Mexico has a starchy texture and is not at all sweet. To better duplicate the flavor, look for corn that is not marketed as ultra- or supersweet.

Ingredients:

  • 6 ears of corn, unshucked
  • 1 cup crema
  • 1 cup crumbled queso añejo or grated
     Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 limes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup ground pequín or other hot ground chili
  • 1/2 cup sea salt

Directions:

Carefully pull the husks back from the corn, remove the silk and pull the husks back in place. Soak the ears in cold water to cover for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare a fire in a grill.

Remove the corn from the water and place it directly on the grill rack over medium-hot coals. Grill, turning frequently, for about 20 minutes. If the husks are very burned but the corn is not yet tender, wrap in aluminum foil and continue roasting until done. Transfer the corn to a platter.

Put the crema, cheese and limes in separate small bowls. Place the chili and salt in shakers or small bowls. Let everyone shuck their own corn. They then rub it with lime that has been dusted with chili, spread it with crema, sprinkle on the cheese and season with salt—or proceed in any order that appeals.
Serves 6.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Savoring Mexico, by Marilyn Tausend (Time-Life Books, 2000).