Elote Loco - Mexican Street Corn
The first time I made elote loco I was working as a grill cook at a nice restaurant in Providence, RI. As my chef prepared some to show me how to make it for service, I was blown away by how good, yet simple this corn was. The diners were also impressed as they chowed down on semi-messy cobs of corn, eating with their hands despite the upscale dining atmosphere. This may traditionally be Mexican street corn, but it is so good it deserves to be enjoyed anywhere from a street cart to backyard barbecues to restaurants.
lote loco translates to “crazy corn” in Spanish. It does look kind of crazy, but mostly it just tastes crazy good. It is usually grilled, then covered in a light layer of mayonnaise, then coated with grated or crumbled cheese, seasoned with some chili powder, and finished with cilantro. The main purpose of the mayo is to adhere the cheese and other toppings to the corn. By swapping the mayo out for some equally adhesive Greek yogurt, you can make this street corn just a little more nutritious and you don’t really miss out on any lost flavor.
orn is a great source of carbohydrates for athletes, and as we know carbs are the main source of energy fueling athletic performance and daily life activities. Adding some corn to your plate contributes carbs, fiber, and some vitamins and minerals to your meal. Trivia time: Is corn a vegetable or a grain?
According to the Whole Grains Council, fresh corn is considered a vegetable, but when dried, corn is categorized as a grain (cue pondering face Emoji). For nutritional purposes, corn is thought of as a starchy vegetable. Other starchy vegetables include peas and potatoes. These veggies have a much greater carbohydrate content than other vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, lettuce, or broccoli.
cup of corn has about 30g of carbohydrates while a cup of a non-starchy veg like broccoli has about 10g carbs. So, if you are trying to choose a balanced meal at that backyard cookout and you already have some grilled chicken and potato salad, maybe go for some greens rather than corn to round out your plate and avoid a carb coma.
When corn isn’t busy being a vegetable, it is considered as a whole grain. Whole grains are beneficial in the diet because they provide more fiber, protein, and phytochemicals than grains that have been broken apart, or refined grains. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that at least half of the grains in our diets are whole grains. This corn season, get your whole grain on with this elote loco.
his is another non-recipe; just sort of assembly guidelines. You can use the traditional mayo if you like, but I think the Greek yogurt works well. And if you are grossed out by the thought of Greek Yogurt on your corn, don’t worry; you can’t even taste it, just try it! Don’t like spicy foods? Try some paprika instead of the chipotle/chili powder. Think cilantro tastes like soap? Skip it or try some basil instead. Don’t have a grill? Well it won’t taste quite as good, but you can always boil the corn instead of cooking it on the grill. However you choose to make it, I hope you give this elote loco a try and enjoy a new take on classic corn on the cob this summer!
Ears of fresh corn
Shredded parmesan or pecorino, or even just “shaky” cheese
Chipotle or chili powder
Choose corn that still has some of the stem attached, as it will act as a handle. Peel off a few of the outer husks of the corn. Gently peel down the remaining ones and fold around the stalk/handle. Tie together with one of the peeled-off husks.
Grill corn until some char (flavor) develops on some of the kernels. Spread a thin layer of Greek yogurt on each cob and then lightly roll in or just sprinkle on some of the cheese. Top with a little fresh cilantro and chipotle powder. Serve with lime for some acidity to cut through the other rich flavors. Yum!