There is a taco place that originally opened in Austin called Torchy’s. They have this incredible street corn that I get every time we go. It is so very delicious. The corn is crisp and flavorful. And then there’s this ancho aioli that they put on top with the cilantro and cheese that makes this corn dish truly amazing. Please try it if you ever find yourself at a Torchy’s in Austin, Dallas or Houston (and apparently Waco, Lubbock and soon College Station!). And Torchy’s, I’d like that ancho aioli recipe…
I love the idea of street corn on the cob. It’s also beautiful, all those lovely corn cobs lined up on a platter. But I think it’s hard to eat and when I’ve had it I find that all the yummy toppings fall off and that makes me sad. This way you can get the flavors of street corn without the mess or the sadness!
I have to honest with you. This corn is not the same and not quite as good as Torchy’s but it’s still delicious and you can make it at home! After looking through a few recipes for street corn, esquites, elotes en vaso, and other similar dishes with names I sound like a fool pronouncing, I came up with this recipe. A good thing to remember when putting this together is to taste as you go and adjust the amounts according to what you like. If you want your corn extra creamy, use more crema, if you want it more or less spicy, adjust the chipotle. Adjust the lime juice as well. If you use queso fresco like I did, you may need a pinch or so of salt. If you use cojita cheese (which I unfortunately could not find) then you may not need the extra salt since it’s a saltier cheese.
As people serve themselves they can garnish with as much cilantro, chili powder and cheese as they’d like. You can leave out the chipotle all together and serve it as a condiment as well, making sure to let everyone know that a little goes a long way! When Ben and I were newlyweds I made a meal for him that was so heavy on the chipotle that it was almost inedible. So be careful!
I sauteed the corn in a skillet, but you can boil it or grill it and then cut it off of the cob. I prefer it with a little color and roasted flavor so grilling or sauteing in a hot skillet would be the best way to go. I cut the corn off of 5 cobs and got about 2 cups of corn and it will serve about 4 as a small side dish. Just increase or decrease the amount of corn for the people you plan to be serving.
You can make this earlier in the day, just up to the point where you mix the corn, butter, crema, chipotle and lime juice. Refrigerate then reheat over medium-low heat until hot, stirring frequently. Then you can serve and garnish the cups.
Street Corn Off the Cob
- 5 ears of corn, husked and corn cut off the cobs
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- kosher salt
- 2-3 tablespoons of crema mexicana (could also use sour cream or mayonnaise)
- 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice (plus a few extra wedges for serving)
- 1 minced chipotle pepper mixed with 3 teaspoons of sauce from a can of chipotles in adobo sauce
- queso fresco (or cojita cheese)
- chili powder
- cilantro, roughly chopped
- Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat and add in the corn. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring just a few times so that the corn has an opportunity to char a bit.
- Remove from the heat and add in butter and salt and stir until butter has melted.
- Place corn in a bowl and stir in 1 tablespoon of crema and 1 tablespoon lime juice. Taste and add more crema and/or lime juice. Taste and season if needed. Stir in 1 teaspoon of the chipotle, taste and add more if needed.
- Divide into cups and garnish with queso fresco, a sprinkle of chili powder and a few cilantro leaves. Serve with lime wedges.