When I was pregnant with my daughter I had what I thought was a weird craving. It wasn’t anything gross, it was just corn, especially canned corn. A few years later after we had moved to El Paso, Texas I learned my craving wasn’t that odd at all. In El Paso eating elotes en vaso or corn in a cup was a normal thing. You could find corn in a cup at local grocery stores, some gas stations and at concession stands. I even sold it at a concession stand for my kid’s track team. Who knew? Growing up corn was also simple, butter with salt and pepper in El Paso my eyes and taste buds were opened to a new way to eat corn.
Corn in the cup takes your basic corn to the next level elevating it with chili powder (like Tajin) and/or hot sauce (esp. Valentina), fresh lime, a bit of crema or sour cream and some cojita cheese. It is typically served in a styrofoam cup and is easily customizable. You have this cup of buttered corn and then you just add the layers of flavor turning it into something really wonderful. I don’t know if it is the simplicity of it or if it is just comfort food but in El Paso it was guaranteed to be something you would sell out of. Try it for yourself and change how you and your family enjoy eating corn!
- 10 ears corn, shucked and kernels removed
- 1¼ cups butter
- 2½ cups lime juice
- 2½ cups crema Mexicana or sour cream
- 1 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste (such as Tajin)
- salt to taste
- 1¼ cups crumbled cotija cheese
- 1 dash hot pepper sauce (such as Valentina®), or to taste (optional)
- 10 wedges fresh lime
- Place corn in a saucepan and cover with salted water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and return corn to saucepan.
- Spoon ¾ cup corn into 10 serving bowls; add 2 tablespoons butter to each and stir until butter is melted. Mix ¼ cup lime juice (or to taste) and ¼ cup crema Mexicana into each bowl; sprinkle a generous amount of chili powder or tajin over each. Season with salt if desired.
- Top each serving with 1-2 tablespoons cotija cheese and hot sauce; garnish with a lime wedge.
- *canned or frozen corn can be substituted for fresh corn... 5 15.25oz cans of corn=10 ears of corn*