Esquites (Warm Mexican-Inspired Corn Salad)Recipe courtesy Heather Ramsdell: Makes 4 servings
4 ears corn, shucked
1 tablespoon vegetable oil or butter
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ cup crumbled cotija cheese or queso fresco
¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped, plus a few leaves for topping
¼ jalapeño pepper, finely minced about 1 teaspoon
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon ground ancho pepper or red chili flakes
Kosher salt, to taste
Hot sauce, for serving
- Shave the kernels off of the corn.
- Preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil or butter and corn kernels and cook, without stirring, until they smell toasty, and turn golden brown in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir and toast some more, without stirring, another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and stir in 1 or 2 tablespoons water to loosen.
- Juice half of the lime over the corn. Cut the other lime-half into wedges and set aside. Stir the mayonnaise into the corn with half of the cotija, most of the cilantro, the minced jalapeño , and the chili. Season to taste with salt. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro, and cotija and serve warm in cups with lime wedges.