Corn in a Cup - Elote en Vaso

This is Mexico's finest street dish, often sold in styrofoam cups. Growing up in the border city of El Paso, I saw elote en vaso sold at street corners, bazaars, and festivals. When I moved away from home I craved these steaming corn kernels drenched in melted butter and aromatic lime juice, topped with crumbly cheese. This is a very simple recipe that produces a comforting Mexican classic. Feel free to adjust the proportions of lime juice, crema, cheese, and spices to taste.

Recipe reprinted from Muy Bueno courtesy of Hippocrene Books, Inc, 2013.

Corn in a Cup - Elote en Vaso

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    Ingredients

    10 ears corn salt, to taste
    3 sticks salted butter Hot sauce (optional; recommended Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce)
    3 cups lime juice 12 ounces crumbly, salty white cheese (ideally cotija but parmesan is acceptable)
    3 cups crema Mexicana or sour cream lime wedges for garnish
    Chili powder, to taste

    directions

    Total:
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    • 1

      Husk the corn, remove the silks, and slice the kernels from the cobs with a sharp knife. Place the corn in a saucepan with enough salted water to cover. Bring to a boil; let boil for 2 to 3 minutes, then drain. Turn off the heat and return corn to saucepan.

    • 2

      For each serving: Put 3/4 cup of corn in a glass. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and stir to melt the butter. Mix in ¼ cup lime juice and ¼ cup crema. Sprinkle with a good heavy coating of chili powder and salt if desired, though the cheese adds plenty of salt. If you like spicy then add a few drops of some hot sauce for that extra kick of heat. Mix well. Top with 2 tablespoons crumbled cheese.

    notes

    Serve with a spoon and lime wedges.

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