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Mexican-Style Corn with Chili and Lime (Esquites)
To make esquites, a popular type of Mexican street food, corn is typically roasted or grilled, then the kernels are simmered with an herb called epazote before being finished with crema (Mexican sour cream), mayonnaise, lime, chili and cotija cheese. The slightly brothy mix is served in cups and eaten with a spoon. Our version of esquites is based on the recipe Jorge Fritz and Beto Estúa taught us at Casa Jacaranda cooking school in Mexico City. Epazote has a unique flavor and aroma that are difficult to mimic. The herb is not widely available in U.S. supermarkets; Fritz and Estúa suggested a combination of fresh parsley and basil, so that’s what we call for in our recipe. Plump, tender kernels cut from ears of fresh corn are the first choice for making esquites, but in non-summer months, an equal amount of frozen corn kernels that have been thawed and patted dry will work; they’ll just take a little longer to brown.
tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
cups fresh corn kernels (from about 5 ears corn) or frozen corn, thawed and patted dry