This Mexican Street Corn Salad is a fun twist on a delicious summer recipe!
Whenever my wife and I visit another country, we always make sure to duck into at least one grocery store or market sometime during our trip. We like food (obviously), and it’s always fun to wander around a grocery store in another country. You stumble across very different ingredients and products. Or maybe very familiar products…just in different flavors.
When Laura and I went to Scotland a few years back, I had a blast looking at all of the foods that we can’t get in the States. Wandering down the potato chip aisle at a grocery store in the U.S. will yield many different options. But one flavor you can’t get here in the U.S.? Haggis & Cracked Black Pepper. Haggis flavored potato chips? Uhhh…I’ll pass. (Granted, we have some pretty, um, unique flavors of chips…but haggis?)
And then there was the Prawn Cocktail flavored Pringles. Huh? Shrimp cocktail in potato chip form? How is that even possible?
We also stumbled across some familiar products…just under different names. Instead of pork rinds, we found this bag of pork scratchings. (Well, we assumed they were pork rinds…but now I wonder…) And the Louisiana Chilli Beef? What in the heck is that? I assume it’s a spicy beef sandwich? I lived in Louisiana for a while, and I never came across a Louisiana Chilli Beef sandwich while I was down there.
But here’s the thing. At the same time as I laugh about these different products, I must also note that we’ve had some delicious food in our international travels. Keeping with the Scottish theme, the innkeeper at our first bed and breakfast served smoked salmon on homemade wheat bread. It was the most amazing smoked salmon we’ve ever had! She also made these Chocolate Espresso Muffins that I couldn’t stop eating. (And she was nice enough to share her recipe!)
While my wife and I haven’t been to Mexico together (we’ve both been, but it was long before we ever met), I suspect we’d enjoy eating our way across the country. I mean, it’s Mexican food! And Mexican food is delicious.
Grilled Mexican Street Corn is a favorite around our house in the summer, and we often make up a big batch whenever we have friends over. The other day, I decided to take that recipe and transform it into a salad. If you’ve ever eaten Mexican Street Corn, then you know it can be a bit messy. (Hey, some of the best foods are messy…I get it.) But this Mexican Street Corn Salad solves that problem.
For this Mexican Street Corn Salad, I prepared the corn in the same way as normal. But instead of serving it on the cob, I sliced the corn off and mixed it with some chopped bell peppers. And of course, the dressing is an absolute must for this salad!
Finding authentic Mexican ingredients way up here in upstate New York is a bit of a challenge, though. Although not the same, sour cream is a passable substitute for crema. (I did stumble across Alton Brown’s recipe for crema, and it’s quite good if you remember to plan ahead.) And believe it or not, but feta cheese can be substituted in for the queso cotija. (Again, it’s not the same…but it works in a pinch.)
This Mexican Street Corn Salad is perfect alongside a burger or a piece of grilled chicken. (Say maybe this Margarita Grilled Chicken?) The fresh bell peppers and corn give it an amazing crunch, while the crema dressing adds a delicious tangy lime punch. Oh, and one more tip: go ahead and make a double batch of this salad…you’ll need it!
Mexican Street Corn Salad
For the Salad
- 4 cobs of fresh corn ~3 cups of corn
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 2 tsp lime juice
- 1 Tbsp parmesan cheese grated
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 2 Tbsp red onion diced
- 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro chopped
For the Crema Dressing
- 3 Tbsp mayonnaise
- 3 Tbsp Mexican crema or sour cream
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp cilantro finely chopped
- ½ cup queso cotija crumbled (can use feta cheese if queso cotija is not available)
- ½ tsp chipotle or chili powder
For the Salad
- In a large bowl, soak the ears of corn (husks on) for 30 minutes.
- Using a small bowl, combine the softened butter, lime juice, Parmesan cheese, salt and chipotle powder. Stir until well combined; set aside.
- Preheat grill to medium heat.
- Carefully pull the husks back from the corn, but do not entirely remove husks. Remove silk from corn.
- Rub the butter mixture evenly across the corn. Pull the husks back into place and tie closed with string.
- Grill the corn for 15-18 minutes, turning frequently to prevent burning.
- Once grilled, allow corn to cool slightly. Pull husks back and discard. Slice corn off cob and transfer into large bowl. Add diced bell peppers, onion and cilantro; stir until well combined.
For the Crema Dressing
- Meanwhile, make the dressing by stirring together the mayonnaise, crema, lime juice, salt and cilantro.
- Drizzle dressing on top of salad; sprinkle queso cotija and chipotle powder on top before serving.