Bowl of elotes
Recipe from Brett Riley of Maya, Charleston | Photography courtesy of Andrew Cebulka

“You’ll see a lot of places call this style of corn elotes—but across Mexico, you’ll find the term esquites used for off-the-cob corn and elotes for on-the-cob corn. Funny story, the woman who taught me how to make this recipe once said, ‘we make the esquites for kids and old people, so it’s easier to eat.’ I prefer it this way and think it’s more approachable when it’s off-the-cob,” says chef Brett Riley, of Maya in Charleston.

recipe heading-plus-icon


Serves 4

  • 4 ears of fresh corn, shucked
  • 8 tablespoons Duke’s Mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 !lime, juiced
  • 1 cup cotija cheese
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 4 lime wedges, for garnish
  1. Place corn in a large stock pot with enough water to cover all cobs. Over medium-high heat, bring to a mixture to a rolling boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and cover for 10 minutes. Remove cobs from water, reserving 2 tablespoons of cooked corn water, and set corn aside to cool. Once cooled down, use a sharp knife to fully remove kernels from cobs.
  2. In a cold sauté pan, add corn kernels, butter, reserved corn water, mayonnaise, chile powder, and lime juice. Warm over medium-low heat while stirring with a spoon. (The idea is to let everything come together and get hot. You want it fully incorporated but be careful not to overheat as mayonnaise will break.)
  3. Once the mixture is fully combined and heated through, season with salt to taste. Top with cotija cheese and more chile powder for an extra kick of heat.
  • Credits:
    Recipe written by Chef Brett Riley of Maya
  • Contributing City
Featured Articles
At the Table

A Cornbread to Remember

Learn how Charleston's recently opened hotel, the Loutrel, partners with purveyors of premium goods [...]

Key Ingredient

BBQ Corn Ribs

Make the corn ribs: Cut cobs in half so you are left with 2 [...]


Barbecue Street Corn

The incorporation of local Charleston sauces and seasonings with a local chef make a [...]

Leave a Reply

Be the first to comment.

The Wine Lover Issue


1 year for only $24.99

1 year
for only $24.99

Subscribe and Save 72%!

Suscribe Now
The Travel Issue