The same restaurant that serves some amazing tacos also happens to make some of the tastiest corn on the cob I've ever eaten. They call it Mexican street corn, and it's served on a stick, dripping with some sort of mayonnaise-cilantro-cheese mixture that gets all over your face but tastes so outstanding that you couldn't care less. You could be on a first date with the person of your dreams but you still won't pause from eating this corn to wipe your mouth. Even if you were dining with your boss, or a prospective employer, or your boyfriend's parents, or your favorite celebrity, you'd keep eating. Yeah, it's that good.
My re-creation isn't quite as amazing (yet), but it's close. What makes it so delicious, you ask? First, the corn kernels get charred, which I love. I used my cast-iron skillet and it did the job well. Secondly, there's not too much mayonnaise involved, just enough to give a bit of its tell-tale tang to the dish. You can add more, of course, but I opted to use some sour cream instead. Cilantro, a provider of another of my favorite flavors, is also there. If you've never had cotija cheese, do your best to find it, as it's really quite good. You can use feta instead, if you must. Either way, be generous with it. The one thing I'd change is to leave out or at least decrease the amount of scallions--they just dominated everything a bit too much for my tastes, but adjust as you see fit.
This is a DELICIOUS side dish, especially if you love corn as much as this gal.
Salad Meant to Taste Like Mexican Street Corn But Eaten With a Fork (or Spoon)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 2 ounces feta or cotija cheese, finely crumbled
- 1/2 cup finely sliced scallion greens
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and stemmed, finely chopped
- 1 to 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or minced on a microplane grater (about 1 to 2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- Sprinkle of paprika or chile powder
Melt butter in a large non-stick or cast-iron skillet over high heat.
Add corn kernels, season to taste with salt, toss once or twice, and cook without moving until charred on one side, about 2 minutes.
Toss corn, stir, and repeat until charred on second side, about 2 minutes longer.
Continue tossing and charring until well charred all over, about 10 minutes total. Transfer to a large bowl.
Add mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, scallions, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, and lime juice and toss to combine.
Taste and adjust seasoning with salt to taste.
Sprinkle the top with more cheese and paprika or chile powder, then serve immediately.