Thursday, June 17, 2010

Oven-Roasted Corn, Elote Asado

Elote asado, roasted corn, is a delicious Mexican street food and a favorite treat of mine. There were a couple elote stands near my house in Austin and they made trips to the grocery or hardware store so much more enjoyable [and I enjoy both].  The corn was on a big grill in the back of a trailer and they'd shuck the blackened husks to order and wrap it in foil, which is immediately opened and used as a little plate to dress the corn with the toppings set out on a shelf: bottled lime juice, a shaker of paprika, salt and pepper, and green can of dried parmesan cheese.  The lime juice goes on first and everything else sticks to it.  Some bites were spicier, some were cheesier, but all were enhanced by the mottled brown charring and the bright flavor of lime.

Since I moved to Yankee Land, I've come across a monstrosity at cookouts called "Mexican-Style Grilled Corn" [created by a test kitchen I otherwise love and respect] that involves oiling up the corn before grilling,  then slathering it with a gooey mayo/sour cream/cheese/lime juice paste.  It's not unpleasant to eat -- in a hearty gastropub kind of way -- but it's definitely more decadent than refreshing and not at all Mexican-style [as I know it].  I was served something like it at a well-regarded tapas restaurant here, so it might be Spanish in origin...?   I'm dubious.

At any rate my, version isn't muy auténtico either, but it's more in keeping with what I want to eat.  I can't have a grill on my fire escape, so I roasted my corn [in husk] in the toaster oven.  It worked great and it made my apartment smell like the elote stand... and that made me very happy.

Recipe: Indoor Roasted Corn, Elote Asado

I used my toaster oven so it wouldn't heat up the place and it fits up to four cobs at a time.  The broiler in a full-sized oven will go faster, so be sure to monitor it.

corn on the cob
lime wedges
paprika [I used smoked paprika... which is Spanish, not Mexican]
finely crumbled queso seco, cotija,  or other semi-hard or hard cheese, like feta, manchego, or grated parmesan

Turn on the broiler.  Peel off layers of husk until you can feel the texture of the corn.  If you peel one too many and see the silk, tuck it back in as best you can.  Snip off the tassel and husk ends about half an inch above the tip of the cob so it doesn't catch fire before the corn is roasted.  Place cobs on a foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet and place under the broiler.  Turn every 3-5 minutes or until husk is evenly dark brown and the outline of the kernels is visible, ~20-25 minutes. [They can get a little darker than the picture... I didn't time it right and had to pull them before the rest of the meal cooled off too much.]

Allow to cool enough to handle, then peel off husks and silk and serve with garnishes.


  1. I love that you made this indoor-friendly. I always get disappointed by recipes that call for a grill (which I don't have).

  2. 好的開始並不代表會成功,壞的開始並不代表是失敗......................................................................

  3. Most things that require a grill can be done under your broiler or on a cast iron griddle on the stove. Unfortunately, the best part about grilling is not heating up your kitchen in the summer, and there's just no substitute for that.

  4. We tried this the other night and it was quite tasty:) I was hesitant about the paprika but it was suprisingly mild and yummy. The corn on the western slope of colorado is starting to come in season and we pig out on corn when it does...thanks for the idea!