This is the last of my California-related food posts for now. Elote is basically a creamy corn salad dish that was all over the place in Sonoma. We had it at least twice and its was great both times. It also turns out that it is super versatile; we had it for breakfast and dinner! You can really make the dish in a few different ways to give it different flavors.
The first step is deciding how you want to cook the corn. You can roast it or grill it; if you have access to a grill I would go that way. Grilling gives the great addition of the charred flavor but is a little harder. I like to roast the corn in the husks for the first half and then open them up at the end and slather on some compound butter for the second.
When it comes time to actually make the salad, you again have a few options. Sour Cream or crema is essential; my recommendation is use a food processor and combine the sour cream with a little lime juice. This thins it out a little and builds some great flavor.
The other key elements are cilantro and some kind of pepper. I love the smokiness of a charred poblano, but a little serrano adds a nice heat to the salad.
Lastly, there is an optional topping of cheese. What you really want is a dry, crumbly Mexican cheese. It adds a nice little bit of saltiness to the whole dish that works nicely with the tanginess of the crema. My only recommendation is take it easy with the cheese, I have had a version that was piled high with it and it could be a little overpowering.
Elote (Street Corn) Salad
- 2-4 Corn Cobs
- 2 Tbs Butter
- 1 Cup Sour Cream
- 1 Lime zested and juiced
- 1 Orange zested
- 1 Serrano finely diced
- 1 Tbs cilantro chopped
- 1 Scallion chopped
- 1 Garlic Clove minced
- 1/2 Tsp Cumin
- Mexican cheese optional
- Either grill the corn or preheat the oven to 375F roast for about an hour start with the husk on then remove half way through and slather with the compound butter..
- Combine the butter with half the lime zest, serrano, scallion, garlic, cilantro, and all of the orange zest (plus salt/pepper). Mash with a fork to create a compound butter.
- Create the crema by either whipping or food processor blending the lime juice and sour cream. Add half the serrano, lime zest, cilantro, scallion, and garlic plus the cumin to the crema. Stir to combine evenly.
- Shave the corn kernels, if they come off in big chunks leave them that way.
- Combine the corn with the crema mixture.
- Top with cilantro, green onion, and crumbled Mexican cheese.