Called elote in Mexico, grilled street corn is a choice hot-weather food. Here, you get smoky charred kernels topped with mayo, cheese and a tangy chili-lime sauce. India pale ale (IPA) joins the party in two ways: First, the cobs are boiled in beer-infused water, and then a bit of this hoppy brew goes into the special sauce. Topped with lime, cayenne and extra cilantro, this corn eats like a meal.
1 473 mL can India pale ale (see tips), divided
8 cups (2 L) water
6 cobs corn, husked
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese (about 55 g), see tips
1/4 cup (60 mL) mayonnaise
1/4 cup (60 mL) sour cream
1 clove garlic, pressed or grated
2 tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped cilantro (approx)
2 tbsp (30 mL) lime juice
1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) chili powder or ancho chili powder
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) pepper
Cayenne pepper or Tajín seasoning (optional)
Pour 1-1/2 tbsp (22.5 mL) ale into a medium bowl and set aside. Pour remaining ale into a large pot and add water; bring to a boil. Add corn and blanch for 90 seconds. Drain and set aside to dry.
Meanwhile, preheat barbecue to high; grease grill. To ale in bowl, add queso fresco, mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, 2 tbsp (30 mL) cilantro, lime juice, chili powder, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Set aside.
Grill corn on preheated grill, turning occasionally, until grill-marked all over and kernels are tender, 7 to 8 minutes.
Arrange corn on a serving platter or plates. Using a pastry brush, brush queso fresco mixture over corn. Serve with lime wedges to squeeze overtop, and sprinkle with cayenne (if using). Garnish with extra cilantro, if desired.
An IPA with notes of juicy lime is the best choice for these citrusy tacos.
Feta is often saltier than queso fresco. If you’re using it, taste the sauce before adding any extra salt. Start with 1/8 tsp (0.5 mL) and only go up to the full amount if necessary.
Tajín seasoning gives foods a tangy pop of chili, lime and salt. It's tasty on this corn, in Micheladas, on cubed melon, and on grilled seafood and chicken. Look for it in the spice aisle or in Mexican grocery stores or supermarket sections.