Aside from this being an especially tasty dip, our first experience with elote holds a special meaning to us. The fiance' and I both had elote for the first time during our New Year's trip to Sedona.
During our vacation, we ate at this Mexican restaurant that was highly recommended by the locals. Our tour guide through the famous vortex sites was the first to let us know that if we were looking for a great meal, we needed to head on over to Elote Cafe. He seemed like a cool guy, had lived in the area for several years, so we decided to go with his suggestion.
When we later arrived at the restaurant, we started to have doubts in our trusted tour guide. The restaurant's exterior left a lot to be desired. It sits atop a 70's style motel/inn which made us think twice about the type of meal we were about to experience.
But we felt adventurous...and the prospect of a lovely margarita always seems to do a body good.
This experience was the perfect reminder that looks can be deceiving. The food was fresh, unique and delicious. The staff was friendly, providing exceptional service despite the restaurant being packed full of hungry patrons. We were lucky that we arrived before the dinner rush, giving us a minimal wait time. The restaurant doesn't seat that many and they don't take reservations but the wait is so worth it. We even attempted to go back for a second meal before we left.
Although we were unsuccessful in our second attempt, I did manage to purchase a copy of the chef's cookbook, the Elote Cafe Cookbook.
Elote, which the fiance' and I so fondly remembered from our meal there, was the first thing I made from the cookbook. Elote typically refers to roasted ears of corn with cotija cheese, mayo and chili powder, which is a common street food in Mexico. The chef has turned this into a tasty dip served with tortilla chips. He was on target when he decided the fresh roasted corn kernels would pair well with the cheese and mayonnaise in the form of a dip served with tortilla chips.
Can I just say...so good!! And easy to replicate at home.
Move over guacamole, it's time to share the tortilla chips with a new dip in rotation.
6 ears of corn, in their husks
1 cup of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon hot sauce, preferably Cholula brand
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup cotija cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons cilanto
chili powder, to taste
tortilla chips for serving
Prepare grill by heating to medium-high. Roast the corn in their husks until the husks are well charred, about 5 minutes. Make sure to turn the corn occasionally to avoid burning either side. Set the roasted corn aside until cool enough to handle. Shuck the corn (remove the husks) and the cut the kernels off the cobs using a sharp knife.
When ready to eat, mix the mayonnaise, hot sauce, lime juice, salt, pepper, sugar and chicken stock in a saute pan over medium heat. Stir for 4-5 minutes until the mayonnaise is incorporated and sauce is mix through. Add the corn kernel and stir together to warm through. Pour into a bowl and mix in half of the cheese. Garnish with remaining cheese, cilantro and chili powder. Serve immediately with tortilla chips.
adapted from Elote Cafe Cookbook