Dare I use the ‘D’ word to describe this Grilled Mexican Corn Salad Recipe? D for ‘deconstruction’ that is. Lamentably, I need to, for my Grilled Mexican Corn Salad Recipe is indeed a deconstructionists ode to the classic Mexican street food known as ‘Elotes’. Albeit minus the pomp and ceremony and price tag of a typical hipster menu ‘under deconstruction’. Yes, the dish’s elements have been pulled apart, but not in the way that those fancy chefs do it. You know, when they overthink the dish’s elements, halve the serving size and then use tweezers to precisely patch it all back together in a Picasso-esque pattern on one side of the plate while the other side is naked. (What’s with that trend anyway?) No, my deconstruction style Grilled Mexican Corn Salad is about pulling apart the original recipe and adapting the ingredients a wee bit before putting them all back together in one yummy, generous dish so there’s less chance of getting corn stuck between your teeth.
The flavours and ingredients in my Grilled Mexican Corn Salad recipe are inspired by the popular Street Style Corn or ‘Elotes’ on the menu at one of my favourite casual joints to eat and drink in Melbourne – Mamasitas. A trip to Melbourne would not be complete without some tacos, tequila and corn in your teeth at this walk-in Mexican cantina. It’s at the top end of Collins Street a skip from Spring Street. Just find the queue of hungry faces out front. The Mamasitas’ version of ‘Elotes’ is chargrilled corn cobs served with queso (cheese), chipotle mayo and lime. In Mexico, it’s a popular street food where the corn is impaled on a skewer or part of the husk is left attached as a handle for eating with your fingers.
My Grilled Mexican Corn Salad Recipe has the same foundation flavours as ‘Elotes’ but I’ve deconstructed it a little and then turned it into a side dish. I still oil and grill the corn on the barbeque to get the charred look and flavour but once it is cool enough to handle I promptly denude the cob of its sweet and smoky kernels ready for my salad. While I‘m more than okay with eating with my fingers, I have teeth that are magnets for corn skins. My smile ends up resembling a corn cob with odds and ends wedged between the gaps so that I need to reach for the floss in Mr GFAF’s man bag.
Asides from the corn, there is a delicious paprika and lime flavoured mayo that’s freshened with coriander and shallots. Instead of grating the traditional queso cheese over the top – I use finely grated salty parmesan cheese and I stir this into the mayo dressing. To serve the Grilled Mexican Corn Salad I like to smear half the dressing on the bottom of a serving platter with the back of a spoon, top with the fresh ingredients and finish with a drizzle of the remaining dressing.
You will need a fork to eat my Grilled Mexican Corn Salad Recipe – hands won’t cut it. You can add other ingredients as well such as jalapenos, char grilled chillis or even fresh avocado. Dress the salad just before eating and serve it with your favourite hot sauce for extra heat. It’s great as a side dish for grilled meats like chicken and fish or as a salsa with corn tortillas.