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Street Corn or Esquites


Serves: 8



2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon safflower or corn oil

1 serrano or jalapeño chile, or more to taste, chopped, seeding optional

8 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 12 ears of corn

2 cups water

2 tablespoons chopped fresh epazote leaves, or 1 teaspoon dried (may substitute cilantro, which gives a different flavor, but it also works!)

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or more to taste

2 limes, quartered (optional for garnish)

1/2 cup mayonnaise or Mexican crema (optional for garnish)

1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco, cotija, or mild feta cheese (optional for garnish)

Dried ground chile piquín (optional for garnish)

To Prepare

Heat the butter together with the oil in a large saucepan or casserole over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and is bubbling, add the chopped chile and cook for a minute, stirring frequently, until softened.

Incorporate the corn and cook for a couple more minutes. Pour the water over the corn mix, add the chopped fresh or dried epazote (or cilantro) and salt. Stir and bring to a simmer, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 12 to 14 minutes, until the corn is completely cooked. Turn off the heat. You may leave the corn in the pot for a couple hours.

Serve the corn in cups or small bowls. Let your guests add fresh lime juice, mayonnaise or Mexican crema, crumbled cheese, powdered chile piquín, and salt to their liking.


Poblano Corn Zucchini Pizza

Poblano, Corn and Zucchini Pizza
Pizza de Chile Poblano, Elote y Calabacitas

Serves: makes one 10 to 12-inch pizza

Pizza de Chile Poblano, Elote y Calabacitas" alt="Poblano, Corn and Zucchini Pizza
Pizza de Chile Poblano, Elote y Calabacitas" />


1 poblano chile, roasted, sweated, peeled and cut into 1 inch strips

1 small zucchini, shaved into zucchini ribbons with a peeler or mandoline (about 1 1/4 cups)

1/3 cup corn kernels, fresh or thawed from frozen

1/4 cup slivered red onion

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice

1/4 teaspoon chipotle or ancho chile powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

All-purpose flour for dusting work surface

1/2 pound pizza dough (recipe follows)

1/2 cup tomato pizza sauce (recipe follows)

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese or requesón

2 tablespoons roughly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, for garnish

To Prepare

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a medium bowl, toss to combine the poblano chile strips, zucchini ribbons, corn, red onion, olive oil, lime juice, chile powder and salt.

On a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough into a 10 to 12-inch circle and place on a pizza stone or in a cast-iron pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread on 1/2 cup pizza sauce, leaving a 1/2-inch border all the way around. Top with 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, then using a slotted spoon to leave the juices in the bowl, spoon on the poblano, zucchini and corn mixture. Add the remaining mozzarella cheese, and then place about 8 mounds, about a heaping teaspoon each, of ricotta cheese on top. Transfer back to the oven and bake until the cheese is melted and the crust is crisp, about 12 to 14 more minutes.

Transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle with chopped parsley if desired, and serve.


Foolproof Pizza Dough
Masa para Pizza Fácil

Serves: makes enough for two 10 to 12-inch pizzas


1 teaspoon active dry yeast

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 cup lukewarm water (110-115 degrees)

1/2 teaspoon sugar

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface

2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt

To Prepare

In a medium bowl, combine the yeast with the olive oil and the lukewarm water. Once it is well mixed, add the sugar and stir well.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour with the salt. Make a well in the middle and add the yeast mix. Use your hands to incorporate it all together until it is fully combined, about 2 minutes. Let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

Flour your counter and your hands generously, remove the dough from the bowl and knead until the dough goes from being sticky and gooey to very elastic, smooth and malleable. It will take anywhere from 3 to 5 minutes. Add more flour to your counter and hands as need be.

Divide the dough in half, form into two balls and wrap them each in plastic wrap. Place the dough in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before using, or up to 3 days.

Bring the dough back to room temperature, without removing the plastic wrap, before using.


Basic Pizza Sauce
Salsa de Pizza Básica

Serves: makes over 2 cups


3 tablespoons olive oil

1/3 cup chopped white onion

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, or 2 pounds of fresh tomatoes (quartered and pureed)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

To Prepare

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they have completely softened and begun to brown around the edges. Add the garlic, stir and cook for a minute until fragrant and tanned. Pour in the tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and oregano, stir, cover the pot partially (sauce will want to splatter all over your counters) and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes. Turn off the heat.

Use what you need and store the rest tightly covered in the refrigerator for further use.


Sweet Corn Tamales


Serves: makes 10 to 12



10 large tender ears of corn, with fresh corn husks attached

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup corn meal or rice flour, more as needed

1 teaspoon ground canela or cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt

Fresh corn husks from the ears of corn to make the tamales, or dried corn husks

Mexican crema (optional topping)

Queso fresco (optional topping)

To Prepare

To make the corn dough or masa: Carefully peel the husks from the ears of corn. It helps if you slice 1/4-inch or so from the bottom part of the corn. Place the husks in a large bowl and cover with hot water. (If using dried corn husks, soak in hot water.)

Rinse the peeled corn thoroughly. Shave the corn kernels off and place in a food processor or blender along with the sweetened condensed milk. Process until you get as smooth consistency as you can. Incorporate the corn meal or rice flour until you get a moist, but not wet, dough consistency. Season with the cinnamon and salt and mix well.

To prepare the tamalera or steamer: Place water in the bottom pan of a steamer (so that water is under the steamer) and bring it to a simmer. Line the steamer with one or two layers of soaked corn husks.

To assemble the tamales: Lay out a corn husk with the tapering end towards you. If the fresh corn husks are too thin, use 2 or 3 fanned together. Spread about 3 tablespoons of dough or masa into about a 2 to 3-inch square, the layer should be about 1/4-inch thick, leaving a border of at least 1/2-inch on the sides.

Pick up the two long sides of the corn husk and bring them together and fold the folded sides to one side, rolling them in the same direction around tamal. Fold up the empty section of the husk, with the tapering end, from the bottom up. This will form a closed bottom and the top will be left open.

Prepare all the tamales and place them as vertically as you can in a container.

To cook tamales: When you have all tamales ready place them, again as vertically as you can, into the prepared steamer, with the open end on top. If there is space left in the steamer, tuck in some cornhusks, so the tamales won’t dance around. Cover with more cornhusks, and steam covered with a lid anywhere from 55 minutes to an hour. You know the tamales are ready when they come easily free from the husks.

Serve hot, along with fresh Mexican cream and crumbled queso fresco on the side.


Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo

Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo
Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado

Serves: 8

Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado" alt="Warm Nopalitos with Sauteed Corn and Guajillo
Nopales con Elote y Guajillo Salteado" />


3 tablespoons safflower or corn oil, seperated

3 pounds fresh nopales, rinsed, cleaned and diced

1 teaspoon kosher or coarse sea salt, or to taste

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

½ cup chopped white onion

2 ounces guajillo chiles (about 7 or 8 chiles) cleaned, seeded and chopped

2 cups fresh corn kernels, from about 3 cobs, or thawed from frozen

1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice

To Prepare

Heat two tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy skillet (that has a lid) over medium-high heat. Add the diced nopales, sprinkle the salt and stir for a minute or two. Place the lid on, reduce the heat to medium and let the nopales cook and sweat for about 20 minutes, stirring once or twice. They will have exuded a gelatinous liquid that will begin to dry out. Take off the lid, stir and make sure most of the liquid has dried up; if it hasn’t, let them cook for a couple more minutes until it does.

Pour in the third tablespoon of oil, mix with the nopales and incorporate the garlic, chopped onion, guajillo chiles and corn. Mix well and let it cook for about 3 to 4 minutes. Squeeze in a tablespoon of fresh lime juice, mix and place the lid back on. Let the nopales cook for another 3 to 4 minutes and turn off the heat. Taste for salt and add more if need be.

If you have any leftovers, they make a wonderful filling for quesadillas.


June 29, 2011

The Mexican way to wildly dress simply cooked corn drives me wild:

Crunchy sweet corn on a stick, brushed with butter and mayo, coated in tangy and salty crumbled queso fresco, sprinkled with chile powder, typically chile piquí­n, coarse salt and a liberal squeeze of lime juice…

It doesn’t matter if I am hungry. The mere site of a street food corn stand makes me stop dead in my tracks and zoom over for one. Like a wild woman. I need one. Well, the truth is one is not enough, ever.

In Mexico you find corn stands all over, in little towns and big cities. Locals know what day of the week and at what times they show up. If you are not from there, it takes a while to figure it out.

Continue reading Go Wild, Munch On Your Crazy Corn!

September 17, 2010
Corn Ice Cream 15-thumb-510x342-1466

Right after savagely taking a bite into a fresh ear of corn, right in front of the cashier at the Farmers Market, I felt compelled to explain that its raw, sweet, flavor reminds me of the Corn and Cream ice cream from the Chiandoni heladerí­a in Mexico City. A staple from my childhood days.

With a bit of nostalgia washing over me and in the mood of snapping that last piece of summer from this year, I brought back a full basket of corn. I would make one last batch of summer flavored ice cream, just as the stores begin to sell Halloween decorations, shockingly early, if you ask me.

Continue reading Outrageous But Necessary: Corn and Cream Ice Cream

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