>> Wednesday, July 23, 2014
In Pilsen, the Latino neighborhood near the University of Illinois at Chicago, I would often see men pushing compact food carts in spring and summer, or riding bicycle carts and ringing little bells as they passed. The vendors sell all kinds of treats - ice cream, fruit cups, quick tacos, or elote - corn with mayonnaise, cheese, and a bit of spice. Some vendors sell elote as whole ears of corn with a skewer for you to hold onto while you munch. At a Hispanic grocery store near us, a lady sells little cups of cut corn mixed with the creamy elote sauce. Jessie and Jenn used to love to dip into them with tiny plastic spoons while we examined the produce.
Of course, one of the many wonderful things about corn on the cob is that it gives you an extra incentive to floss your teeth (which we're all doing 12 times a day already, right?). But as a dip with tortilla chips, elote has the benefit of very little cleanup afterward.
When my sister and nephew stopped over last week on the way to the National Dive Meet in Minneapolis, I warned them that this dip has no real nutritional value...but that was a lie. Everyone knows that corn is good for you, and corn and cheese eaten with corn chips are especially healthy. Anyway, once you taste this dip you might not care about nutrition, which is why we lightened it up with low-fat dairy ingredients and light corn chips.
Ingredients6 ears of corn in husks
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light yogurt
1 tbsp Mexican-style hot sauce
2 tbsp lime juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup Cotija or Parmesan cheese, finely grated
1 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1 bag of tortilla chips
DirectionsSoak the ears of corn in water for 10 minutes, while heating the grill to medium temperature. Grill the corn, turning occasionally, for 15-20 minutes, until just tender. Allow to cool slightly then husk the corn, and cut the kernels off the cobs.
In a medium saucepan, stir together the corn, mayo, yogurt, hot sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper, and cheese. Heat until bubbly. Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro and cayenne.
Makes about 3 cups of dip.