By Vida Gustafson

Contributing Writer

Elote is a Mexican street food where roasted corn is shmeared with mayonnaise or crema, rolled in salty cotija cheese and cilantro, and sprinkled with a tangy lime-chili seasoning.

This version that I cobbled together brings all the creamy, salty, tangy and sweet corn goodness together with a little smoky kick from some chipotle.

You can pick up a can of chipotle in adobo sauce at most grocery stores. One can will take you far; the smoky, tangy heat is a great addition to any dish.

Crema is a Mexican dairy product that’s a little thicker, saltier and tangier than American sour cream.

I am an unabashed cilantro lover, so for my friends who are not, I would simply skip this recipe — or try it and possibly be converted!

Serve this delicious salad alongside burgers, hot dogs, roasted or fried chicken, or on top of tacos.


4-5 ears of corn on the cob, or 4 cups frozen corn (if using frozen corn, add 2 tablespoons butter)

3 tbsp crema (or substitute 1 tbsp mayonnaise and 2 tbsp sour cream)

1 c chopped Cilantro

1/4 c onion (finely diced)

1 chipotle in adobo (finely chopped)

1/2 c cotija cheese

1 tsp black pepper

2 small limes, zest and juice


If you’re using fresh corn and have a hot grill handy, simply roast them, unhusked, for 5-7 minutes over high heat, turning frequently. You can also roast these unhusked in a 450-degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

If using frozen corn, heat up a cast iron skillet over high heat, add 2 tbsp of butter and the frozen corn, then sauté over high heat until the water has evaporated and they achieve some light browning. This should take about 10 minutes.

Combine all the rest of the ingredients and mix in the warm corn. Taste for seasoning. If you like some spice, feel free to use more than one chipotle. Serve either warm or chilled.