“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.
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
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.