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Food and Travel

Elote

(Rick Scuteri/Associated Press)
January 27, 2010

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At the Elote Cafe in Sedona, Ariz., chef-owner Jeff Smedstad roasts corn in the husks over a hot fire. “What could bring to life the flavor of Mexico more than corn roasting and caramelizing over a grill?’’ he says. “For that matter, these flavors would be at home in any backyard where there is barbecue going on.’’ He says that typically in Mexico this dish is made with starchier corn, but he prefers the flavor of the sweet Silver Queen, and admits the mixture always tastes better in the summer. This time of year, you can roast corn in a 500-degree oven for 10 minutes or until it begins to char. Soak the husks in water for 10 minutes first.

6 ears fresh corn, husks intact
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon cholula hot sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup ground cotija cheese or Parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Pinch of pure ground chili powder, or to taste
1. Over a medium hot grill, roast the corn in their husks for 5 minutes, turning occasionally, until the husks are well charred. Take care not to burn the kernels inside; set aside until cool enough to handle.

2. Shuck the corn. Cut the kernels off the cobs and transfer to a saucepan.

3. Add the mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice, salt, black pepper, sugar, and chicken stock. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, just until warm.

4. Transfer to a bowl and garnish with cheese, cilantro, and chili powder. Serve with chips for dipping. Adapted from Elote Cafe