Grilled Corn, Mexican Style: Elote Asado

It is Memorial Day weekend and many Americans are barbecuing.  Corn is in season and made me recall a memory I had many years ago.  I was on International Blvd. in Oakland at a food stand.   At the time, I don’t even think it was called International Blvd., just E14th Street.  The name changed in 1996.  The stand was serving up elote (corn in Spanish).  The guy at the stand pulled out a corn on the cob from steaming hot water, he spread a thick amount of mayonnaise on it, sprinkled parmesan cheese, squeezed some lime juice, and topped it off with some chili powder.  I was a bit nervous about trying it, but it was pretty good.  Ever since that day, I had thoughts about how I could improve on it.  I would definitely grill the corn instead of boiling it in water, I would not add so much mayo, and I would use fresh parmesan, not the powdered stuff.  Years later, I would run into this similar treat at Tamarindo Antojeria Mexicana.  They grilled it, topped it with aioli, lime, and parmesan.  Now that was also a few years ago.  Today was the day I was going to make my version with the help of my twelve year old niece.

Ingredients (I did not put amounts because this is all to taste)

Corn on the cob
Melted butter
Queso fresco
Cayenne pepper

In preparation, I covered the corn (keep husks on) in the sink with water for about thirty minutes.  This is similar to soaking bamboo skewers to avoid burning on the grill.  The corn floats so you need to turn them over about half way through the soak.

Plop the corn (keep husks on) on the grill after it has heated up.  Cover the grill to cook through and turn every few minutes. Remove the corn from the grill after it has charred about 15-20 minutes.  Pull the husks down each corn, brush melted butter on them, and replace on the grill for a few minutes to create a golden brown color. 

After removing from the grill, lightly spread mayonnaise, lightly squeeze lime, break off and sprinkle some queso fresco, and sprinkle cayenne pepper.   Now you are ready to eat.  My niece and I shared the first one.  My niece thought it was yummy.  In my humble opinion, it was oh so good.  I’m so happy it’s just the beginning of corn season and I will be having more elote asado all summer long.