There’s a reason Mexican street corn, a.k.a. “elote”, is so popular these days. Grilled corn on the cob, slathered in a mayo sour cream sauce, sprinkled with cotija and chili powder? Yes, please!
Well, how about all of the brilliant deliciousness of street corn, in the form of nachos?
Ever since I had some elote at a friend’s house the other day, I’ve been dreaming about capturing the flavors as a topping for cheesy nachos. And friends, I think we may have something good here.
The components of nachos are tortilla chips, melted cheese of some sort, and toppings. The problem with a lot of nacho recipes is that if you bake the chips with the toppings, the chips quickly get soggy. To counteract that, I decided to toast the chips separately, and then just pour over a cheese sauce and top with the toppings right before serving. That way the chips stay crunchy, and don’t droop when you try to pick them up.
The cheese sauce needed to be creamy and mild. Creamy to easily pour, and mild so it wouldn’t interfere with the street corn flavors. So, I’ve made a cheese sauce with Monterey jack, cream, milk, and some corn starch to prevent clumping. This gets cooked in a double boiler on the stovetop so the sauce doesn’t burn or separate.
As for the corn? You can of course grill some corn on the cob, and then remove the kernels. I didn’t want to fire up the grill to make nachos though, so I’m using frozen corn kernels that I sear, while still frozen (a tip from America’s test kitchen), in a cast iron pan on high heat. That way we get some sear. I use chipotle chile powder for the heat and smoky flavor.
This isn’t the sort of thing you can make in advance. That said, if you are having people over for a game day party? This would be perfect. Enjoy!