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Amazing Grilled Corn at Café Habana – Mexican street food meets Malibu

Grilled Mexican Street Corn like Café Habana (Elote)

  • 6 ears of corn, husks and silk removed
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise (homemade, recipe here [1]; or Best Foods brand — can use light version)
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream (Daisy brand preferred; can use light version)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup freshly grated Cotija cheese (about 4-5 ounces)
  • Ground chili powder (or ground cayenne pepper or ground chipotle)
  • 1 lime, cut into 6 wedges, for serving

Fire up the grill and get all ingredients ready.

Microwave 3 ears of corn at a time in a covered container, 5 minutes. When first batch is done, microcook second batch.

While corn is cooking stir mayonnaise, sour cream, cumin and salt together in a small bowl and set aside. Place grated cheese on a large plate and set aside.

When corn is done in the microwave, grill it, turning frequently, until browned in spots, about 10-12 minutes. When corn is done on the grill, attach corn holders to each ear, and, working quickly, smear each ear with the mayonnaise mixture (this is the glue for the cheese), and then roll it in the grated cheese, sprinkle with chili powder and place on a plate. Use whatever chili powder you like, and give it a light sprinkle. You are working quickly because you want the heat of the corn to soften the cheese. Don’t let the corn cool off.

Serve immediately, with lime wedges alongside. Squeeze lime over the corn before eating.

Serves 4-6.  (Some people will eat 1 ear, and some people – you know who you are – will want 2 ears.)