Mexican Street Corn - Elote

Mexican corn on the cob on the Grill

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Elote recipe

Throughout the summer, corn is a staple for cookouts on the grill, but I decided to add a twist to corn on the cob. I made Elote, which is a traditional Mexican snack often served at festivals and food trucks.

The process of making elote is a bit different than regular corn on the cob- the corn shouldn’t be shucked completely, but in a way that allows the husk to be used as a handle when grilling and eating the corn. I liked this way because it looks good on the camera, but elote is often served on a wooden skewer. The skewers must be soaked in water for a bit before grilling, so they won’t burn. When grilling the corn, leaving the husks or skewers hanging outside of the grill will also prevent burning, and allows you to move the corn around easier. I also like to brush butter on the corn while grilling, to add flavor and help the cooking. After grilling, I squeeze a fresh lime on top, followed by crumbled parmesan cheese. The recipe calls for cotija, a traditional mexican cheese, but I find that using crumbled parmesan works just fine for the corn and is a bit easier to buy in stores. The sauce is a mix of sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime, which I use a squeeze-bottle for. These squeeze bottles are really helpful in a lot of shoots, with this one being no exception. After the sauce, I garnish the corn with chili powder and fresh cilantro- and the elote is ready to eat.

Elote works really well as an appetizer as it’s very easy to make and very filling. It also works well for groups or quick snacks, as they’re easy to hold with the stick and eat while being able to walk around.

Though very easy to make, this shoot was a bit tougher, since I had to use a grill, which is located above my studio. I can’t use a grill in my downstairs basement, so for shoots that require grilling, I must constantly move food, props, and cameras between the downstairs and outside. Shucking the corn was another challenge, as it’s time consuming to shuck the corn in a way that doesn’t completely take off the husk. In the future, I’d consider just using shish kebab skewers instead.

Cooking tools

Bakers twine

Cooking brush

Squeeze bottle Mixing glass bowls


Lime squeezer

Metal pinch bowls

6-Burner Propane Gas Grill

Food photography props used in this photo shoot

Some of the props might no longer be available in stores. I selected props as close as possible to match those items.

Sarape runner


Fake cactus

Margarita glasses

Acrylic ice

Fiesta maracas

White metal tray


Black plate

A complete list of my equipment

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