Como va amiga? I hope well because today we’ve got a Dantastic quick and easy elotes recipe for you. Elotes is Mexican street corn and as you’ll learn later on in this blog, corn plays quite the role in Mexican cuisine! This takes about 20 minutes to make from start to finish, and can be done in big old batches. Trust us, you’re gonna want more than one elote once you’ve had a taste! We’re using 3 Dan-O’s Seasonings for maximum flavor: Dan-O’s Chipotle, Spicy, and Cheesoning. Each is gonna add a little something special to the dish, but if you’re feeling more old school with your elotes just use Dan-O’s Spicy or Chipotle with a little cotija cheese.
A brief history of Corn, and Elotes
Corn and the Americas is a tale as old as time, but it’s perhaps most popular in Mexico. If we were to take all Mexican recipes, and really condense them into their most basic ingredients then two of the most common would be 1. Tortillas, and 2. Corn! Our first introduction to corn means we must turn back the clock to when the Indigenous tribes of the highlands in Southern Mexico. These tribes would spend much of their time cultivating, and breeding corn. Originally corn were these tiny, rock-hard vegetables but overtime they developed them into the large, edible ears we know and love today.
Flash forward to Meso-America with the Toltec, Aztec and Mayan civilizations and we’ll see corn pop up as an important part of life again with the mighty tamale. If you’re familiar with our one skillet tamale pie recipe, then you might remember how important the tamale was. But the key part of the tamale we want to focus on is the process of nixtamalization. This process is where corn kernels would soak in an alkaline solution before being peeled yielding a workable grain that could be ground into a Masa dough. This dough would then be used of course for the mighty tamale. This paved the way for additional corn based recipes down the road, like corn tortillas!
With the tamale in mind, then it’s no wonder that Mexico has a thing for on-the-go cuisine. Mexico city is often cited as one of the most important cities for street food. But in Mexico, street food is called antojitos which is Spanish for little cravings. With many of these dishes featuring corn as an key ingredient. But it doesn’t always mean the corn is processed, and the best example of that would be elotes. A simple full ear of corn is grilled up before being slathered in butter, chili powder, mayo, and cotija cheese before being served on a stick. The next time you have Mexican, just consider how corny it really all is.