Elote Pasta Salad

Elote (Mexican street corn) is one of our absolute favorite side dishes to have during the summer. We have yet to find anyone that doesn’t like it and will find an excuse to squeeze it into any dinner menu that we plan. To change things up for our Memorial Day menu, we wanted to take everything that we love about elote and transform those flavors into a pasta salad to serve a bigger crowd. This recipe is the real deal. It’s cheesy, spicy, and has that hint of lime that makes it taste refreshing as well. We are obsessed with this recipe and hope it finds a way to your picnic tables this summer. If you’re already cooking on the grill, we encourage you the char the corn on there while you cook for a smoky flavor that can’t be beat.

Elote Pasta Salad

  • Servings: 8-10
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Everything we love about Mexican street corn folded into a warm delicious pasta salad. Bring on the summer barbecues!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb spiral pasta (we used fusili)
  • 4 ears fresh corn, shucked
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 8 oz package queso fresco
  • juice from 2 limes
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp Tajin
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions for al dente. Drain the pasta and immediately put it back into the pot it was cooked in.
  2. While the water is coming to a boil, heat your oven broiler to high (if you are already cooking on the grill, feel free to do this step on the grill). Brush the ears of corn with the olive oil and be sure to coat on all sides. Put the corn onto a cookie sheet and broil until lightly charred. Rotate the corn as necessary so that most of the sides have a light char. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  3. Once the pasta has finished cooking and it back in the pot, immediately crumble the queso fresco into the hot pasta and toss everything well to coat. The cheese will start to melt and make a light sauce for the pasta. Use a knife to remove the corn from the cobs and add the corn, lime juice, paprika, Tajin, and cilantro into the pot. Toss well to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve immediately. This dish is best served warm to room temperature.


Cheesy Stone Ground Grits

Does anyone else love the grits from Waffle House as much as we do? How could you not! Based on the amount of road trips we have taken in our lifetime, we know that there is just something so satisfying about grits at a pit stop on an early morning drive. When the weather is cold and we are stuck indoors, cheesy, creamy grits are the ultimate side dish to just about any entrée – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Our version of grits takes about 30 minutes to make, but we think that they are well worth the effort. Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting some of our favorite dishes that pair perfectly with this classic side dish.

Cheesy Stone Ground Grits

  • Servings: 4
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Our ultimate, guilty-pleasure side dish that pairs well with just about everything!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken stock (you can substitute water if you want this vegetarian)
  • 2 tbs butter
  • 1 cup stone ground grits
  • 2 cups 2% milk, warmed in the microwave
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated and separated
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring the chicken stock and butter to a boil in a medium sauce pot. Add the grits, stir well, and reduce to a low heat so that the grits are on a slow simmer. Cover the grits and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the grits do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  2. After 15 minutes, add the milk and 3/4 cup of the cheddar cheese to the grits. Stir well and again, keep covered on a low simmer for another 15 minutes. Stir occasionally so that the grits do not stick to the bottom of the pan and they cook evenly.
  3. When the grits have finished cooking, give them a really good stir so that all of the liquid is absorbed. Season the grits to taste with salt and pepper and serve hot with the remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese over top.


Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)

Whether you’ve always been a big Cinco de Mayo celebrator in the past, this year we feel like we need to celebrate all the things while in quarantine. It helps us break up the monotony of daily life at the house and helps remind us there is a real world beyond isolation that is worth celebrating! One of our favorite Mexican dishes is elote- or grilled street corn. It takes just a few ingredients to create the rich, smokey, salty and sweet combination that you get when you eat this dish. It’s a favorite of ours all summer long!

Elote (Grilled Mexican Street Corn)
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 ears of corn, husks removed
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 limes, separated
  • 1/2 cup + manchego cheese, grated or queso fresco, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • scallions and cilantro, sliced for garnish (optional)

Directions:

  1. Heat your grill to medium-high heat. Use the 2 tbs olive oil to coat each of the four ears of corn. Season them well with salt and pepper and grill them for about 15 minutes, rotating as each of the sides starts to char. A little bit of char is great, too much tends to taste bad so keep an eye on the corn on the grill!
  2. While the corn is grilling, make the spicy sauce. Whisk together the mayonnaise, paprika, cayenne, and the juice of one lime onto a large plate. Season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Have the shredded manchego or crumbled queso fresco on a second large plate.
  3. When the corn has finished grilling, immediately remove it from the grill and roll each of the four ears in in the sauce plate and then press into the cheese plate. We try to coat the ears of corn with the sauce on all sides but only have the cheese on one side of the corn. Press any extra cheese onto the tops of the corn.
  4. Place the corn back on the grill in indirect heat for just a few minutes to let the cheese melt. Serve immediately with chopped scallions and a slice of the second lime for garnish.