So, what is a really good side dish to eat with smoked or grilled meat? Mexican Street Corn, of course, and who doesn’t like corn? Well, my son for one…he actually despises it, but I think it’s safe to say that most of us can’t get enough of it. In fact, my mom once said that we were pigs in a past life because we loved it so much.
The BEST corn dishes are the ones where you cut kernals straight from the cob, and I like the to use the yellow/white sweet ears of corn. Since it is a little time-consuming and messy to do it that way, I made this version with frozen whole kernal corn from Sam’s Club. You can also use canned corn, but drain it really well before you make the recipe or it will be runny.
This is my personal recipe for Mexican Street corn, and it is a tad different from any other that I have found online or in cookbooks.
Here is what you’ll need for a recipe to feed 6 people:
20-24 oz. pkgs of frozen whole kernal corn, depending on the brand you purchase (or 3 cans, drained; 6 ears fresh cut)
1/2 stick of butter softened at room temperature (I used salted)
4 oz. cream cheese, softened at room temperature (I used 1/3 fat Philly)
1 fresh jalepeno, chopped (this is optional – leave in the seeds if you want it really hot. I removed 1/2 of them)
1 T. chili powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika (make sure it is smoked)
1/4 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp granulated onion
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp granulated sugar
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated colby jack cheese (fresh grated is best; the pre-grated is too dry but will work)
1 tsp chopped cilantro
Grease a casserole dish with about 1 T of the butter. Put the remainder of your butter into a nonstick skillet. Add the cream cheese and melt these together on low-medium heat so as not to burn the butter. If you are using frozen corn, steam it in the microwave per pkg instructions and drain the water off through a colander. I shake mine around to get the extra water out of it. Add the corn to the skillet and mix well. Next, add the jalepeno and spices. Stir until all of the spices are well-incorporated into the corn. Lastly, remove from the heat and add the grated cheese. Stir this together well and pour into the casserole dish.
Top with a little more grated cheese, jalepeno slices, and a light dusting of chili powder to make it pretty.
Bake in a preheated oven at 375F for 30 minutes, and garnish with cilantro.
This stuff is good straight out of the oven, and I promise, your people will be standing at the counter waiting for the timer to say “It’s done”! It’s even better the next day, just sayin’!
Remember, recipes are meant to be altered, so if you want a little more chili powder, go for it! If you like it sweeter, add more sugar. Make it taste the way YOU and your peeps like it!
Hope your day is smokin’!