Do you wish sweet corn season was year round? So do I! When the fields are bursting with fresh ears of corn, it’s time to make a delicious garden fresh Mexican style sweet corn! This recipe is as simple as it gets, with just SIX ingredients! It comes together in less than 20 minutes, too!
There is nothing quite like fresh sweet corn. Whether I buy it from the grocery store, a local farmer or I grow it myself, it’s still one of my favorite summer foods! I feel like I need to write a follow up post to this recipe titled, “How to Save Sweet Corn from Becoming Raccoon Food.” I could write it, but I wouldn’t be able to give good advice. Between the raccoons and deer, every ear we harvest is a miracle.
What I love about this recipe
When my family is running back and forth between summer activities, I try to have really quick and hearty meals ready to go. This corn is a perfect side that can be served with hamburgers, steaks, salads or grilled chicken. Truly, it is very versatile and can go so many directions!
What is the best variety of sweet corn to grow in a garden?
I’m going to break this down into the three main categories of sweet corn. The terminology used for these categories is SU, SH2 and SE. The most common cultivar (corn category) is SU which means “sugary.” You will find this written on the seed packet or product listing.
These sugary varieties are fairly easy to grow and don’t mind cooler weather. Many gardeners grow SU corn, but the main disadvantage is that the kernels don’t last long after harvest. It needs to be eaten fresh or preserved quickly. The most popular SU variety is Golden Bantam, by Burpee seeds. It’s been well loved since 1902 and what most people consider the quintessential sweet corn flavor. Looking to store corn?Jubilee Hybrid is popular for freezing and preserving.
If you’ve ever eaten an ear of corn that seemed unusually sweet this is probably a variety SH2. I remember this abbreviation by thinking of the SH as standing for Super High. Many times the seed packet will have advertising that says “ultra sweet.” These varieties can grow well in most corn-loving areas. If you want to grow SH2, try Nirvana. This is a bi-color yellow and white hybrid that is sweet, vigorous, easy to grow. Nirvana is also high yielding, making it perfect for a large family or for sharing with your neighbors.
These varieties tend to be very sweet and crisp. The abbreviation SE stands for sugar extended, meaning then kernels will stay fresh longer after harvest. These varieties are typically more difficult to grow because they need consistently warmer soil temperatures, even in the spring. This would not be a variety that I would try to grow here in zone 6B. If you want to grow SE corn, try Ambrosia or Ruby Queen. I haven’t personally grown any SE corn.
What ingredients are needed for garden fresh Mexican style street corn?
Sweet corn | find a variety that is fresh and available in your area. Look for unshucked ears with tassels that are still vibrant and healthy, not dry and brown.
Mayonnaise | make it fresh or buy it from the store! Either is fine, but PLEASE don’t ask me if you can substitute miracle whip (I think it’s one of the nastiest condiments and cannot advise you to use it. Personal preference)
Distilled white vinegar | pretty basic, right? Or should I say "acidic..." I'm so funny.
Cotija cheese | This one might be tricky to find if you live in a rural area or small town. If you are unable to find it, try substituting mild feta cheese or mild parmesan. It won’t be a perfect sub, but the flavor will still be tasty.
Chili lime seasoning | This is a blend that I find at Trader Joes, Kroger or online. It has a mild flavor and makes a heck of a rim dip for ranch waters if you are into those!
Lime | The fresher the better! Grab an extra for garnishes or to squeeze into a beverage to serve with this corn.
How do I make street corn?
Peel the ears of corn. This is called shucking! Remove as many of the little tassel “hairs” as possible. Hold the ear under cold running water and twist your hands gently back and forth over the corn to remove any sneaky tassels.
Boil the ears of corn in a large stockpot for 4-6 minutes. Remove the corn and place it on a towel or cooling rack to let the water evaporate while you prepare the mayo sauce.
In a small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise and vinegar. Use a brushing stroke to lightly coat the corn with the mixture. Sprinkle the corn with crumbled cotija cheese, chili lime seasoning and a squeeze of lime juice.
How can I use leftover ears of garden fresh Mexican style street corn?
The most basic way to eat this garden fresh Mexican style street corn as a leftover is to refrigerate it after cooking, and then reheat in the stove or microwave. The mayo sauce and cotija cheese will melt and nearly disappear, but a quick dusting of the chili lime seasoning will perk it back up!
Now that we’ve talked about the most common way to use leftover ears of street corn, let me through you for a curve ball. The flavors of this corn are bold: lime, cotija, sweet corn, chili. What if I told you that a surprisingly delicious compliment to these ingredients are BLUEBERRIES? I’m not even kidding.
Cut the corn off of the cob and place it in a bowl. Squeeze the juice of one lime over the corn and add a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey. Toss in a cup or two of fresh blueberries and serve as a cold side salad. You won’t regret it!
What should I serve with this garden fresh Mexican style sweet corn?
Let me count the ways to enjoy this corn. It's the perfect side dish for any evening at the grill or backyard barbecue. It pairs well with any red meat, smoked or grilled chicken or shrimp skewers.
I like to serve it as a side when I make Sweet Potato Street Tacos. The spiciness of the tacos gets a cooldown with these citrusy and mild ears of corn. When I make my Best Venison Burgers, this corn is a rockstar pairing.
A really quick meal that I like to keep in my back pocket for busy weeknights are Chicken Taquitos in the air fryer. Pair it with this garden fresh street corn and you've got a main dish and a veggie on the table in under twenty minutes!
If you make this recipe, please leave a comment below! This provides helpful feedback to both me and other readers. For more delicious recipes from scratch and homesteading tips, follow me on instagram @NinnescahHomestead
Garden Fresh Mexican Style Sweet Corn
- large stockpot
- small mixing bowl
- 4 ears sweet corn
- 4 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
- ⅓ cup cotija cheese crumbled
- 2 tablespoons chili lime seasoning
- 1 lime cut into wedges
- Cook peeled corn in boiling water for 4-6 minutes.
- Once cooked, allow to cool slightly. Whisk together the mayo and vinegar. Spread the mayo sauce onto the cob.
- Dust the mayonnaise covered corn with crumbled cotija cheese.
- Sprinkle chili lime seasoning over the corn.
- Cut the lime into four wedges. Serve the corn with a lime wedge and squeeze lime juice over the corn right before eating. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro, if desired.
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