After Labor Day, supplies of fresh summer corn start to dwindle.
So here’s an idea for a cocktail party with family, friends and neighbors: ears of corn and cocktails, Mexican-style.
By that we mean: elotes and Margaritas.
Elote (ay-LOW-tay, plural elotes), meaning tender corn cob, derives from the Nahuatl elotitutl (Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, is still spoken today).
Elote is a popular street food; typically grilled on a stick on the vendor’s cart, then brushed with melted butter or mayonnaise, rolled in cotija or queso fresco crumbles, and dusted with chile powder and salt (photo #1).
It’s served with a lime wedge to squeeze over the corn.
More modern variations use sour cream (called crema in Mexico) instead of the butter or mayo, and liquid cheese instead of the crumbles (please, no!).
Ready to cook?
The elotes are usually boiled at home and transported wrapped in their husks by the elotero (the vendor).
Once on the street cart, they can be served hot from the warming drawer, or grilled over a brazier to char some of the kernels. These grilled ears are called elotes asados (photo #5).
If you want to offer options in addition to the classic elote garnishes, here are some variations. Group the ingredients by nationality on the DIY table.
Note that except for Mexican elote, these are flavor ideas we created. They are not served in their designated country.
*If using wood sticks, remember to soak them before adding the corn and grilling.
†Cilantro is not typically offered in Mexico, but we like the flavor.
**Cheddar cheese powder is the best way to make cheese corn at home.
‡Herbes de Provence are blend of herbs from the France region of Provence. It can include any assortment of bay leaf, chervil, fennel, marjoram, mint, rosemary, summer savory, tarragon and thyme. The commercial blends typically comprise savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme and sometimes, oregano or lavender.
‡‡Recipe for Barbecue Seasoning: Combine 1 tablespoon smoked paprika, 2 teaspoons brown sugar, 1½ teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon celery salt, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper.