Although we normally cook Mediterranean food inside our Fontana gas and wood-fired fired ovens, we decided for a change to make Elotes. Typical to Mexico this beloved, grilled street food is served at small stands on the street corners. Sweet ears of corn are grilled and slightly charred over hot coals and then brushed with a generous amount of mayo, crema fresca, then rolled in cotija cheese, dusted with chili powder and finally each is sprinkled with fresh lime juice. Cilantro is roughly chopped and spread over each ear of corn.
Once the fire has died down, spread the hot coals across the oven floor, or add charcoal to the natural coals and allow them to get hot.
Spread the coals out over the oven floor and place the stainless grill over the hot coals to heat up.
We grilled the corn two different ways; some without the husk and others with the husk still on the cob. Either way is delicious.
To grill without the husk, shuck the corn and place it directly on the grill to brown on all sides. Grill for about 8 minutes.
To grill with the husk, keep the husk on the ears and place the entire cob in water for 15 minutes. Remove the corn from the water, and place it directly on the grill as you brown the husk on all sides for 5 to 7 minutes.
Once it has browned on all sides, carefully remove the corn from the oven and gently peel back the husk and silk tassels. The husk can be left on the bottom of the ear and tied together. This gives a beautiful presentation. Place the corn back on the grill and in the oven to once again brown on all sides.
While the corn is grilling in the oven, in a bowl, mix together the Mexican crema fresca, mayo, chili powder and minced garlic.
Place the queso fresco / cotija cheese in a plate.
Once the corn is perfectly grilled, generously spread the chili cream mixture all over the corn with a basting brush.
Then, roll the lathered corn in the queso fresco/cotija cheese until completely covered on all sides.
Sprinkle the corn with extra chili powder and top each with fresh cilantro and a generous squirt of fresh lime juice.