The Aztec/Nahuatl word izquitl roughly translates as “toasted corn”.
The word itself, izquitl, has morphed into its modern day version, esquites, and is still used in Mexico today.
Esquites has now made its way north of the border too, mostly because corn slathered in creamy, Chili-Lime sauce is a dish that can quickly transcend culture boundaries. In other words, it tastes really good.
And while you’ll often see it sold using chargrilled ears of corn, you can use canned or frozen kernels and get a similar result, making this a year round delicacy that doesn’t need to wait around for a batch of fresh corn.
Mexican Street Corn Recipe
The idea is to create a creamy sauce that clings to the kernels while at the same time delivering a classic Chili-Lime one-two punch.
Mayonnaise and cheese take care of the creamy gooeyness, while fresh squeezed lime juice and chili powder take care of the rest. (Feel free to substitute Mexican crema for the mayonnaise if available.)
I think some sharp, lip-smacking heat works well with the corn so I use chipotle powder. You can use a standard chili powder and get similar results.
OK, start by cooking 3 cups of corn over medium-high heat in a dollop of oil.
Meanwhile, mix together 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, and the juice of one lime.
Once the corn is cooked (approx. 5-8 minutes) add it to the sauce mixture and stir to coat.
Add 2 tablespoons of Cotija cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro.
Mix well and give it a taste.
Ideally the chili powder and lime are repped in each bite, so feel free to add more of either.
Note that corn dip with corn chips does not maketh a meal 🙂
But if you serve it with guacamole and refried beans then dinner has arrived.
The corn mixture goes great with the guacamole. And the guac goes good with the beans. And the beans….you get the idea.
And more importantly, now that you’ve made Mexican Street Corn into a meal you can justify making it for dinner any night you choose, whenever you want, for the rest of your life. Because you deserve it.
Mexican Street Corn Dip
- 3 cups corn kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned)
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- lime juice (1 lime)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder (I used chipotle powder)
- 2 tablespoons Cotija cheese (Feta is a good alternative)
- 2 tablespoons cilantro
- corn chips
- Saute the corn in a dollop of oil over medium-high heat until cooked, approximately 5-8 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix together 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon chili powder, and the juice of one lime in a bowl
- Add cooked corn to the bowl and stir to coat well
- Add 2 tablespoons Cotija cheese and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Mix well.
- Serve as is or with your choice of refried beans, guacamole, or sour cream.