This is a simple, flavorful Mexican dish. If you are familiar with elotes served by street vendors, you will enjoy preparing esquites at home. In Mexico, vendors cut fresh corn kernels off hot stalks as you watch. They then combine butter, herbs, chopped chiles and cheese to the corn, squeeze fresh lime over it and put it in a cup.
Before you can say “Bob’s your uncle” you are wolfing it down and begging for more. Epazote is a strong Mexican herb (grows like a weed!) that is not often found in our markets. It can be purchased in dried form over the Internet or you can substitute cilantro in this recipe for the epazote. Epazote is preferred because of its distinctive flavor.
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 Serrano Chile (seeded, deveined and chopped fine)
1 pound fresh corn kernels
3 tablespoons fresh epazote (chopped)
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon salt
Juice from 1 fresh lime (plus additional lime wedges)
Queso Cotija for garnish (Parmesan cheese substitutes nicely for the Cotija)
Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat (do not burn). Add the chopped chile to the butter and sauté for 2-3 minutes. You may substitute a Jalapeno for the Serrano chile but either way, be sure to remove all seeds. Stir in the corn, epazote, water and salt. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from stove.
Add lime juice to the corn mixture and stir well. Serve while still hot in small bowls. Garnish with Queso Cotija and a lime wedge.