June 29, 2011 11:27 AM
Go Wild, Munch On Your Crazy Corn!
POSTED IN: Anytime Antojos , Recipes
TAGS: chile , corn , cotija , crazy , food , fresco , lime , Mexican , queso , recipe , summer
Print This Page | Print Recipe | COMMENTS (13)

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 or tajin, 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.

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Last time we went to Chihuahua, after asking around for a while, we found the 3 Hermanos cart with Mauro in charge.

And does that man know how to dress that corn! He spoiled me and added an extra squeeze of lime juice.

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Corn can be simmered in water, many times with fresh Epazote. Or it can be grilled on a griddle or comal. If the kernels are shaved off, then the dish is called Esquites. But the traditional trimmings are the same for all.  

Yet, some people can get even wilder... You won't believe this, when Mauro was dressing our corn, a pregnant lady asked for her Esquites with all the trimmings to be poured inside a bag of Doritos. Yes she did. But if you ask me, about to have a baby, she was entitled to whatever kind of craving she felt like...

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Last week, thinking of the many things to do with summer corn for an appearance on the Today Show, I included Crazy Corn. But I opted for the grilled take, because as the corn chars, its natural sugar comes out and caramelizes, giving it an extra layer of rustic and sweet flavor.

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Thanks to the most professional, talented and fabulous food prep styling team, that of the Today Show, the Mexican street style corn that Mexicans love so much, looked so beautiful on the set.

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They had all the trimmings with alternatives and options. Different kinds of dried ground chiles: Ancho, Chipotle and a smoky mix. They also had the queso fresco and its seamless substitutes: Queso Cotija and its Mediterranean cousin, the Mild Feta.

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Crazy Corn is Mexican street food at its best, and it happens to be perfect for summer barbecues.

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Here goes one for you! Messy goodness, conveniently placed on a stick ready for you to munch on.

Serves 6

6 fresh ears of corn, husked and rinsed
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Unsalted butter
1 cup crumbled queso, Cotija or Fresco, Farmers Cheese or a mild Feta
3 limes, halved to squeeze ontop
Salt to taste
Dried ground chile Piquin, Tajin or a Mexican mix, or to taste

Brush the ears of corn with a bit of oil. Place over a grill or grill pan, set over medium heat, and let the corn cook and char slightly, turning them every 3 minutes or until the corn is down, anywhere from 9 to 12 minutes.Remove from the heat. Alternatively, you can simmer the corn in water until tender.

Let everyone decide what they want on their Crazy Corn. You can stick the corn on corn holders or a wooden stick.

The traditional way is to spread butter and a layer of Mayo. Then the corn is thoroughly "breaded" with the crumbled cheese, sprinkled with salt and ground chile and finally, drizzled with freshly squeezed lime juice.


This is just about my most favorite thing in the whole world. When I am in Mexico, I stalk these corn vendors. I get so upset if I cannot find one!

GreengaGirl | July 1, 2011 1:07 PM

Mmmm, my loca boca is watering just thinking about the crazy corn!

Aviva Goldfarb | July 1, 2011 3:28 PM

Haha Aviva! I love your Spanish!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Aviva Goldfarb | July 1, 2011 3:43 PM

the pictures of this corn as so reallike--i wish i corn grab a stick--looks delicious!

Patita | July 1, 2011 4:51 PM

Heading to Oaxaca on Wednesday. Won't get in until late so elotes or esquites will have to wait until Thursday -- unless I forget about cleaning and packing and make my own over the weekend. Ymmm!!

Mary | July 1, 2011 5:10 PM

Pati, Twenty girls and I will cook this at my Spanish Camp Amigas for girls! I KNOW they will LOVE it!

Kathryn in Austin | July 2, 2011 11:52 AM

I used to live in an apartment complex and this guy (we nicked name him the corn man)used to come thru and sell these corn on the cobb. I absolutely loved them. Thanks Pati. LOVE LOVE your show. Please dont stop, i have my dvr set to record any of your shows.

Shelley | July 15, 2011 8:11 PM

DWhere can I buy your cookbooks? I watched your show today for the first time. I like it.... Thanks.

Judy Cavender | July 16, 2011 5:18 PM

Hi Judy, Thank you for inquiring about my cookbook. I'm actually working on it as we speak, and it will be out in 2012. You can subscribe to my email list if you'd like periodic updates!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Judy Cavender | July 18, 2011 3:51 PM

Hi Shelley, I like the nickname corn man. Thank you so much for your wonderful and kind words. And keep that dvr set to record the shows!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Shelley | July 18, 2011 5:47 PM

Hi Pati,

I absolutely love your recipes, the beautiful pictures and the stories that go along with them. What a wonderful blog. I'm so inspired! I also blog about Mexican food recipes on I hope you take a moment to check it out! Have a great day! Maria

Maria | July 19, 2011 9:27 AM

Hi Maria, Thank you for your kind compliment. I can't wait to explore your blog as well. I love sharing my passion for Mexican food and culture with you all, but I also love that I can continue learning from people like you!

Pati Jinich replied to comment from Maria | July 19, 2011 1:32 PM

Elote = love!

Greg | April 29, 2012 4:45 PM