Elote: Spanish Style Grilled Corn Dip

What do you get when you mix sunshine, grilled amazing food, a nice cold beer or chilled wine and a rooftop? A VERY happy lady! Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook food. Growing up in California, my family is accustomed to grilling in any type of weather. Neither wind nor rain nor inches of snow can keep us from firing up the grill!

One of my favorite things to grill is corn on the cob. But, there are so many other great ways to enjoy corn! For example, Elote! We first experienced Elote on our trip to Sedona this past spring. The winter in Seattle was starting to chill the bones a bit too much so off to warm up with sun and family! Elote is the namesake dish of a wonderful Spanish restaurant and it is a dip which is made of fire roasted corn and spicy mayo and is traditionally garnished with lime and Cotija cheese.

We took home the Elote restaurant cookbook as a birthday present, which included the restaurant’s recipe (posted here), and couldn’t wait to get home and make it ourselves. As you may know, I view recipes a general taste and texture guidelines. I love to tinker with recipes and personalize them. The dish at the restaurant had a very creamy consistency and was heavy on the mayo. I don’t like the super creamy aspect and neither of us really like mayo so we tinkered around and came up with the recipe below. Just took it to a birthday BBQ and it was a hit!

We grill our corn to make the Elote which gives it a wonderful charred flavor but you can also use canned corn and pan roast it for a few minutes until it starts to brown. I bet you could also bake it up in the oven…I’ll give that a try once fresh corn is out of season and see how that works out.

To test, we started with one ear of corn to play with the flavors and personalize then for the bbq we grilled up 6 ears of corn and it was a great amount for a side dish. The recipe below is for one ear of corn so you can multiply as needed for how many servings you desire.

Sommer Style Elote
Serves 1-2

1/2 tsp chicken stock + 2  cups water
1 small packet mayo
1 tbsp. Cholula hot sauce
1/2 lime, juiced
Salt & Cracked pepper
¼ c fresh chopped cilantro
dashes of: fresh cracked salt and pepper, cayenne, paprika, garlic
1 ear char grilled corn
Sliced Emmental cheese (the original recipe calls for cotija but we aren’t really fond of it)

For the Corn
Soak the corn for 20 minutes in salt water to brine. Then, cook the corn in aluminum foil in the oven to cook at 400degrees for 20 minutes then finish on the grill. Set the corn aside to cool, then cut the kernels off the cobs.





Making the Elote
Mix the chicken stock, mayo, hot sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper, sugar and chicken stock in a sauté pan over medium heat. Once that’s all mixed up, add the corn kernels and stir until the corn is warmed and the water boils off. Add the sliced cheese and mix until melted then mix in the chopped cilantro and keep on the heat for a minute or two longer. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a dash of chile and serve with tortilla chips. We found that the red or blue tortilla chips were quite delicious and looked so festive! Food should always be fun!


Elote Restaurant (Sedona, Az)

We discovered Elote on a recent trip to Arizona. Since our scheduled flight to thaw out occurred during this years snow-pocalypse our flight was canceled! How DEVASTATING when you’re at the airport, suitcase packed with shorts and bathers while your body is clad in thermal long underwear and a ski jacket. Snow can’t hold us down so we rescheduled a flight for mid April and thankfully the snow was nowhere to be  seen as we taxied off the runway, bound for warmer weather and no work e-mail! Time to THAW OUT!

Seafood Scallop Tacos
Seafood Scallop Tacos


Thanks to some last-minute planning on our wonderful hosts part, a trip to Sedona and the Grand Canyon was in order so last-minute overnight bags were packed and off we went! We stayed in Sedona and upon checking in, decided that Mexican food was the general “tasted up” status of our group so we asked the front desk concierge and immediately she said that we HAD to go to Elote. “You’ll want to get there right when they open at 5pm otherwise you’ll be in an hour plus line to get in. Regardless, I promise you it’s worth it! The food is worth waiting for!!”. She didn’t need to twist our arm any further, Elote it was! Thinking that we were going to beat a line, we tootled down and found parking and headed to the entrance that had.. gasp… a line of at LEAST 30-40 people in it! But… I… HOW!? It’s 15 to 5pm!!Thankfully they open the bar and efficiently shuffle you in to get drinks to enjoy while waiting. We started with a round of a few Margaritas and house Sangria’s (the house red Sangria was truly AMAZING!) and posted up in line. By the time we got to the front and got our name on the list, we were on the second round and headed to the side shaded patio that they have set aside for people waiting. Second round came and our table was ready!





To start we ordered two table appetizers: the Guacamole and of course the namesake dish Elote, which is made of fire roasted corn and spicy mayo and garnished with lime and Cotija cheese. Both dishes were absolutely stunning!! I grew up in California with an avocado tree in my back yard so avocado and guacamole dishes are somewhat a specialty of my family, and this truly earned my seal of approval!! The Elote was SUCH a wondrfully charred and creamy dish… I regret that I have only one stomach and had actually ordered dinner. The entrée’s were equally as picturesque and tasted wonderful! The table ordered (therefore I was able to sample) the Carnitas, the Lamb Adobo AND enjoy my own absolutely delicious entrée of seafood scallop tacos. They served a black bean puree on the side and it completely changed how I will eat and cook black beans forever more!

Since it was a birthday trip, I was surprised by a trip to our table by the wonderful Chef, Jeff Smedstad, who signed my personal copy of the cookbook and took a picture at the table! This recipe for Elote, the namesake of the restaurant, was THANKFULLY included in the recipe book and we can’t WAIT to cook it up! Pictures to follow once we cook it up ourselves!



Serves 4-6

6 ears of corn, husks intact
1 c. mayonnaise
1 tbsp. Cholula hot sauce
2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1 tsp sugar
1/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c cotija cheese, ground or crumbled for garnish
2 tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
pure-ground red chile to taste for garnish
crispy tortillas for scooping

  • Over a medium-hot grill, roast the corn until the husks are well charred, about 5 minutes turning occasionally so as not to burn the side contacting the direct heat
  • Set the roasted ears aside until cool enough to handle, then shuck them and cut the kernels off the cobs
  • Mix the mayo, hot sauce, lime juice, salt and pepper, sugar and chicken stock in a saute pan over medium heat
  • Add the corn kernels and cook until corn is warmed
  • Pour into a bowl and garnish with cheese, cilantro, and ground chile
  • Enjoy immediately with crispy tortillas