Perfectly Grilled Elote Corn for Labor Day

Summer may be all too quickly coming to a close, but we still have a bit of sweet corn season let to enjoy. While Labor Day may mark the end of summer it is still a perfect holiday to highlight the golden cob on. Easily cook the vegetable on the grill while you soak up the last of the summer sun.

elote grilled corn labor dayShutterstock: Brent Hofacker

For ideas and tips for grill corn on Labor Day, we took advice from The Chester Biergarten’s Chef Stephen Yen. His favorite way to make corn on the grill is Mexican street food style! Also known as elote, this style of the vegetable is easy to make especially when you follow Chef Yen’s tips.

shutterstock_5689330Shutterstock: Jorge R. Gonzalez / Shutterstock.com

As Always, Think Local

It’s the summer season, so corn should be abundant in your area. Be sure to check local markets and farmer stands to feature the best kernals the agriculture nearby has to offer. They are sure to be sweetest!

Choosing the Right Husk

When choosing the corn, look for a deep yellow color and firm corn kernels. The corn husk should also be fresh, not brown or wet and rotting. This often is a tell tale sign that the corn has been off of the husk for too long between being picked and being sold and will not be as sweet or fresh. It should have a crisp snapping sound at the end when you peel a husk off.

shutterstock_291094580Shutterstock: bonchan

Grilling Tips

When you grill the corn you should either leave the husk on or wrap the ears in aluminum foil. If you choose to leave the husk on, the corn tends to cook faster as the water content of the husks will help steam the ears and expedite the cooking process. Plus, it is less wasteful than using foil! Cook the corn on the side of the grill rather than right over the direct heat source. Beginning checking for doneness after about fifteen minutes of cooking. If it’s ready, remove either the husk or foil and brush with butter. Then, return the corn to the grill for a few seconds on each side, without any outer covering.

Be an Elote Topping Pro

The token elote sauce can be prepared ahead of time or as the ears are grilling. Combine equal parts mayonnaise and sour cream, add a pinch of chili powder, garlic powder and chopped cilantro, then taste and adjust to your liking. Take the grilled corn slather with an even layer of the sauce over a large bowl to catch the drippings. Next, sprinkle the ears with crumbled queso fresco cheese and ancho chili powder (smoked paprika if you can’t find any ancho). Salt if desired. Then it is time to simply enjoy your Mexican corn elote! Happy Labor Day!

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