Mexican Style Corn in a Cup (Esquites)

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

Corn. Where do I even begin with this deliciousness sent from above? I’ve had a love affair with this gold beauty since I was a tiny tot and my obsession with it has only grown over time. How can something so simple make me so happy? And how can something so basic be eaten in so many ways?

With it being the most popular season for corn, it’s the perfect time to give it a little nod on the blog with one of my favorite ways to enjoy it (besides on the cob, of course)! I first discovered corn in a cup when I was on vacation in San Diego. The first bite was like a kiss from the corn gods and it only got better and better. There were so many different levels of flavor: sweet, tart, creamy, spicy, fresh, and salty. I could eat this stuff all day long. So instead of going out and spending a ton of money to have other people make this amazing stuff for me, I came up with my own little recipe! Now I just need to learn to share whenever I make myself a bowl…

This recipe starts with the most obvious and beautiful gem of a vegetable: corn. Remove the husks and cook it in the microwave. Don’t worry, if you’ve never cooked corn in the microwave before, there are directions below. This is by far the fastest and easiest way to cook it.

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

Once they’re cooked, I could probably just slice the kernels off and go from there. But why not elevate the flavor, right? I love the charred flavor you get when you grill corn. Seeing as I don’t have a grill/am too lazy to go up to my rooftop and use the community grill, I decided to create the smokey, charred flavor using a few spices, butter, and a cast iron skillet. Smoked paprika is the real key here because, you guessed it, it’s smokey.

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

So all you need to do is sprinkle some of my spice mixture on the corn and brown it in a skillet for a little bit. And just like magic, you get grilled corn.

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

Being the multitaskers I know you guys all are, you can make the aioli for the dish while the corn is cooking in the microwave and “charring”. If you’re a spice weenie, you can feel free to change the amount of chipotle powder in the aioli but don’t leave it out completely.

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

When the corn is charred and slightly cooled, slice the kernels off. I obviously didn’t but the best way to do this is to use a bundt pan so you can set the cob in the middle and let the kernels fall in the pan. If you don’t have a bundt pan, just use a pan with some sort of sides so you don’t lose corn to the floor. I dropped a child-sized handful of corn on the floor while I was cutting them and it was the saddest thing ever, so use a pan with sides!

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

Once you have your corn all cut, put your corn and aioli together and mix. Top it off with some yummy, crumbled Cotija cheese and chives or cilantro. Put a big spoonful in your mouth and get happy. Also be prepared to hide because you won’t want to share any of this.

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup

Mexican Style Corn in a Cup
Serves 4
Nothing is better than corn smothered in a delicious chipotle-garlic aioli. Served as a side or a dip - it's the perfect summer dish!
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. Corn
  2. 5 medium ears sweet corn, husks removed
  3. 2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  4. 1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  5. 1 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  6. 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
  7. Crumbled Cotija cheese
  8. Lime wedges
  9. Chives, for garnish
  10.  
  11. Chipotle-Garlic Aioli
  12. 1/2 c. real mayonnaise
  13. 1/2-1 tsp. chipotle powder (to taste)
  14. 1/4 tsp. cumin
  15. 1/4 tsp. dried cilantro
  16. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  17. 1 tsp. lime juice
  18. Salt, pepper
Instructions
  1. Individually wrap ears of corn in damp paper towels and place on microwave-safe plate. Cook corn in microwave for 5 minutes and let rest for 2 minutes. Remove paper towels.
  2. Combine garlic powder, onion powder, and smoked paprika. Melt butter in microwave. Brush corn with melted butter and sprinkle with spice mixture.
  3. Heat a large fry pan on medium-high heat. When hot, place corn in the pan. Using tongs, rotate the corn every minute until all sides are browned/lightly charred. Set aside to cool.
  4. In a small bowl, mix all ingredients for the chipotle-garlic aioli until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
  5. Once corn is cool, slice kernels from the cob and place in a bowl. Add the chipotle-garlic aioli and mix until corn is evenly coated. Top with Cotija cheese and chopped chives and serve with lime wedge.
Tips
  1. Corn can also be garnished with light dusting of chili powder and cilantro.
  2. Add chips on the side to serve it as a dip.
Smitten in May http://www.smitteninmay.com/

1 Comment

  • Reply Desiree August 14, 2016 at 11:28 pm

    This looks delish! I’m gonna be trying it out REAL soon 🙂

    Xoxo,
    http://www.fashionlingual.com

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