Mexican Corn Salad (Esquites)
Why This Recipe Works
Our Mexican Corn Salad features charred kernels whose nutty, slightly bitter flavor complements corn's natural sweetness. We achieved that charring on the stovetop by cooking kernels in a small amount of oil in a covered skillet. The kernels in contact with the skillet's surface browned and charred, and the lid prevented the kernels from popping out of the hot skillet and trapped steam, which helped cook the corn. We cooked the corn in two batches to allow more kernels to make contact with the skillet and brown. After cooking the corn, we used the hot skillet to bloom chili powder and lightly cook minced garlic to temper its bite. We dressed the salad with a creamy and tangy mixture of sour cream, mayonnaise, and lime juice. Letting the corn cool before adding chopped cilantro and spicy serrano chiles preserved their bright colors and fresh flavors.