Our Top Pick in Cookbooks for June is Pati's Mexican Table by Pati Jinich, a collection of recipes for "the simple, healthy, comforting, sensational food that’s served in homes," not the gooey Mexican food so many of us are used to.
Crazy Street Corn
? SERVES 6 ? PREPARATION TIME: 10 MINUTES ? COOKING TIME: 10 MINUTES ? CORN CAN BE GRILLED OR BOILED AN HOUR AHEAD AND KEPT WARM, COVERED ?
Messy goodness on a stick: Crunchy, juicy, sweet corn slathered in butter and mayo, coated in crumbled queso fresco, sprinkled with chile powder and salt, and drizzled with lime juice is one of the ubiquitous street foods of Mexico. I stalk corn vendors when I am there, and my kids follow in my footsteps. Though my boys usually have radically different preferences, this is one dish they are all crazy for. When you serve it, just lay out all the garnishes and lots of napkins and let everyone have a go.
- 6 ears corn, husked and rinsed
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil if grilling
- Softened unsalted butter
- 1 cup thoroughly crumbled queso fresco, Cotija, farmer cheese, or mild feta
- Kosher or coarse sea salt
- Dried ground chile, such as piquín, or a Mexican mix, such as Tajín
- 3 limes, halved
1. To grill the corn, prepare a medium fi re in an outdoor grill or heat a grill pan over medium heat. Lightly brush the corn with the oil. Add the corn to the grill or pan and cook, turning every 3 minutes, until tender and slightly charred, 9 to 12 minutes. Alternatively, you can cook the corn in a big pot of boiling water until tender, 4 to 8 minutes, depending on the freshness of the corn. Remove the corn from the heat, or drain it, and pile on a platter, along with corn holders or thick wooden skewers.
2. Serve with the garnishes so everyone can fi x their corn the way they want. The traditional way is to spread on a layer of butter, then a layer of mayonnaise. Next, thoroughly cover the corn with the crumbled cheese, either by rolling the corn on a plate of the cheese or sprinkling it on. Finish with a shower of salt and ground chile, then a squeeze or two of lime juice.
? MEXICAN COOK’S TRICK: Grilling the corn draws out the sugars and caramelizes them, creating a rustic sweetness that is magical with the garnishes.
Excerpted from Pati's Mexican Table, © 2013 by Pati Jinich. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved. Photos © Penny De Los Santos. Read our review of this book.