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Key Lime Mexican Street Corn Ramekins with Queso Blanco

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mexican street corn rams

 

Growing up and living almost my whole life in the midwest, (central Illinois and NW Indiana), really had me spoiled with all of the fresh vegetables, fruits, herbs and anything and everything you could make from them such as jams and jellies, pies and “Brown Betty”, and canning everything people could get their hands on from their local farmers!  

Acres and acres of orchards and vineyards, (yes, there are vineyards in the midwest, too! 😉 ), fields of wheat and barley, and rows and rows and rows of beautiful, sweet juicy corn! 

Oh that sweet crispy corn! There were three things I couldn’t hardly wait for when I was a kid…  strawberries, watermelon and corn! We can get good berries here thanks to companies like Driscoll’s, but the watermelon is terrible. They only sell the seedless ones here that have almost no flavor at all….and the corn….by the time it gets here, it’s been picked over so many times that we truly get “the bottom of the barrel”. 

Heartbreaking. What I wouldn’t give to make this with “real” corn. So if you happen to live in an area that just isn’t privy to good fresh corn, either, or it’s the dead of winter and fresh corn is out of season, this is a pretty darned good solution. 

Just choose a brand that isn’t over processed and mushy, and try to find whole shoepeg corn if you can. They cut it off very close to the cob getting the entire kernel and it still has that nice pop and hasn’t lost all of it’s juices. Brands vary greatly, so try a few until you find what you like. Fresh-frozen corn also works really well for this, and you don’t even need to thaw it first. 

Anyways, back to what I wanted to make! We were having a spicy, grilled, chipotle pork tenderloin and I was craving some good old-fashioned Mexican Street Corn! So, I thought, ok, we can’t get ears of corn, so why not just deconstruct the whole thing and make it into little individual ramekins?! It sounded like it would work to me, I mean, why not, right? 

And that sounded like the perfect dish to go with the pork and sweet grilled berries, too! 😉 And that it did!! I played with ingredients until I got the flavor and consistency that we personally wanted, but for things like this, just use this recipe as a guide and add spices, juice and cheeses to your own liking. No two tastes are alike and my hubby prefers quite a lot of things to be on the mild side, so you may want a more fiery flavor. 

If you’re extremely lucky and have fresh corn, but would rather make it this way, say for guests are just plain easier eating, there are several ways you could do this.

You could remove the husks and silk and grill the corn before cutting from the cob. Or you can soak the ears, husk and all, and grill like that with the grill lid on for about 20-30 minutes which steams the corn inside.

You can certainly boil it.

Or, if your corn is beautifully ripe, you can actually cut it from the cob, and mix it into the rest of the ingredients without having to pre-cook it.

It will bake in the oven anyways, and good corn can be eaten straight from the cob right out in the field without cooking it at all! 😉 Been there done that! 😉  

I chose Nellie and Joe’s bottled Key Lime juice for this. But you could certainly use fresh if you’d like.

But I wanted to use Key limes because, actually unlike what most people may believe, “Key Limes” are mostly grown in Mexico, not Key West, Florida, and are actually native to Southeast Asia!, and I thought they’d lend a bit of a Mexican flair over just regular limes or even lemons.

Though the Keys of Florida do of course grow them, in the U.S., they’re also grown in Texas and California. But yep, when they finally made their way over to this continent, they were grown in Mexico, central and south America, and Florida. 🙂

And I don’t know about you, but I LOVE them! 😀 Speaking of…a Key Lime Pie would finish this dinner off nicely…. 😉   

So I do hope you enjoy my version of this extremely popular street cart treat reconstructed, and deconstructed, and a whole lot easier to eat! 😉   

 

mexican street corn plated

 

*This dish was served with my Spicy Grilled Apple-Chipotle Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Strawberries & Red Grapes with Cinnamon, and a Key Lime Pie for dessert, and they all went very well together!  

 

Yield: 3-4

Key Lime Mexican Street Corn Ramekins with Queso Blanco

Key Lime Mexican Street Corn Ramekins with Queso Blanco
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 (11 oz.) can white shoepeg corn, drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup mayo, I prefer to use Hellmann's
  • 1/2-1 tsp. key lime juice, fresh or bottled, to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. sriracha chili sauce, or to taste
  • 1/8 tsp. garlic salt
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 1/8 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/16 tsp. cayenne, *more for a hotter flavor
  • 1/16 tsp. coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbl. finely julienned flat leaf parsley or cilantro
  • paprika for garnish
  • 3-4 rounded Tbl. crumbled queso blanco, or as desired, for garnish

Instructions

  • In medium bowl, stir together ingredients well to mix, folding in corn last. Spoon into 3-4 ramekins.
  • Sprinkle tops lightly with paprika and bake in 350 degree oven, covered, for 20 minutes or until heated through and cheddar has time to melt.
  • Remove, top with crumbled queso blanco, and serve hot.
  • Notes

    *1 1/2 cups fresh corn cut from the cob (or even frozen) can be used for those lucky enough to have fresh corn. 😉
    **You can also sub fresh or concentrate lemon or lime juice if in a pinch.


     

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    Hadia

    Tuesday 17th of June 2014

    This looks so tempting, but I cannot find the white shoepeg corn where I reside. Can I use any other canned corn? Really so good!

    Kelly

    Tuesday 17th of June 2014

    Thanks, Hadia! Yep, you can use any canned corn that you have. Or even frozen if that's also available! :D Hope that helps and hope you enjoy! :D

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