For our July 4th taco extravaganza I decided to really go all out and serve corn on the cob, Mexican street style for the 20 or so people there. Note to self: don't do that again--it's way too stressful to soak the corn, char the corn and then spread the lime/mayo/ cheese mixture over two dozen hot corn cobs and get them out with the rest of the meal! New note to self: Instead, make this amazing corn salad that has all the great flavors of Mexican street corn but is far easier to prepare and doesn't require any of that crazy "last minuteness". Let's hear it for Mexican Street Corn Salad! Olé!
I really love corn salads--they're so fresh and summery and this mexican styled version definitely does not disappoint. It's creamy, cheesy, has a little kick to it and that wonderful smoky charred corn flavor that separates it out from ordinary corn salads. And as I mentioned above, you can prepare it ahead, so it really is the perfect addition to any picnic or backyard shindig--or even just as a great side for a simple dinner of grilled chicken or fish. So make this now while the fresh corn is so sweet and reasonably priced. It'll turn even the most ordinary meal into a south-of-the-border fiesta!
Mexican Street Corn Salad
Makes 4-5 servings
Prep Time: 20-25 minutes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 4 fresh ears of corn, shucked
- Kosher salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (I used light)
- 2 ounces Cotija or feta cheese, finely crumbled
- 3-4 scallions, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro or parsley
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely chopped
- 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 1-2 shakes red pepper flakes
1. Cut the kernels off the corn and set aside. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over high heat until very hot. Carefully add the corn (don't want the hot oil to splatter you) and add a pinch or two of salt. Toss a couple of times and then let cook for 2-3 minutes without stirring so the kernels have a chance to char. Then stir and let the kernels cook another few minutes to char on the other side. Continue for another 10 minutes or so, letting the corn cook and char, then stirring and letting it cook again, until the corn is well charrred all over. Transfer the corn to a large bowl.
2. While the corn is still hot add the mayo, cheese, scallions, cilantro or parsley, jalapeño, garlic lime juice and red pepper flakes. Toss well to combine and then taste and add more salt if needed. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Leftovers are also good cold and the recipe doubles and triples well--you just have to cook the corn in batches.
Note: Recipe adapted from The Food Lab by J Kenji Lopez-Alt.