Elote is one of my favorite summer dishes. The fresh corn is at its sweetest. Adding char to the corn gives it a depth of flavor that can’t be beat. Of course, I like to dude-out and use a small blow torch on the corn. (When I’m cooking for a crowd, I get out Senior Fuego the big propane torch and take care of charring the corn in short order.) The crema or sour cream lends a creamy consistency. Using multiple cheeses gives added texture and flavor to the dish.  Cotija is salty; queso fresco is mild with smooth texture; and manchego adds a flavor similar to parmesan. You could also add monterrey jack cheese in lieu of some of the cheeses. With this dish, as long as you have the corn and sour cream, you can use whatever cheeses you want or have on hand and the dish will turn out great.

4 ears of fresh corn, husks and silk removed

6 month manchego cheese, grated

1 cup sour cream or crema

¾ cup cotija cheese, grated

¾ cup queso fresca, crumbled

1 teaspoon hatch green chile powder

I like to char the corn on the cob with a blow torch. If you don’t have a blow torch, lightly grill the corn until just barely blackened. Be careful not to over heat the corn because it will start to pop and splatter. Cut corn off the cob. Mix with remaining ingredients. Place in oven-safe baking dish in 375 degree oven for 15 minutes, just until melted together and slightly brown on top.

Written by Chef John O'Neil