Mexican Street Corn Nachos
Cheesy nachos are taken to the next level not only with a creamy cheese sauce but 3 different cheeses. It doesn’t get better than that when it comes to snacking. I wish I could tell you that I’m all about that game day but I’m not, if I was you better believe these nachos are the perfect thing for game day, but also great for any party and definitely a great starter for taco night. They disappear quickly so it’s always best to make a double batch, thank me later.
There is reason Mexican street corn, a.k.a. elote, is so popular these days. I decided to hop on that train and do a twist that has already been thought of - elote over nachos. So it’s been done - in fact there are so many things getting an elote twist on them the reason being that grilled corn slathered in a mayo sour cream sauce, sprinkled with cotija and chili powder is just that good.
I love grilled corn, the taste of it and that hint of smokiness is so good. If you have the time and patience to grill your corn for this recipe by all means do so. If not, the pan frying method works just as well in giving that corn some colour and a bit of char on it, it’s also a lot quicker to do. Using fresh corn may be limited to certain times of the year but you can make this recipe with frozen corn and it’s just as delicious - making this a perfect snack for any time of the year.
I was so happy with the recipe from Simply recipes because it calls for baking the chips before being loaded for just a few minutes. This makes all the difference - I wouldn’t skip that step. It keeps the chips crispy longer instead of soggy with all the toppings.
These are really that good and simple to make. They do not skimp on any dairy. They are oozing with cheese sauce, melty cheeses as well as a salty crumbly cheese that is so perfect with the sweet corn. The lime makes it bright in flavour as does the cilantro and the chili powder gives it just enough smokey flavour with slight heat. There is extra heat from the jalapeños but you can control that by how much you add. We love a little heat and welcome it. Customize to your taste buds and enjoy - cause these guys don’t last long on a table.
For the queso blanco
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- 1½ cups whole milk
- 1½ cups shredded white Cheddar cheese divided
- 1½ cups shredded Monterey jack cheese divided
- 3 tbsp canned diced green chilies
- 1 clove of garlic grated
- ½ tsp chili powder
- ¼ tsp cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the nachos
- 4 ears of corn or three cups of frozen corn
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup cotija cheese plus more for serving (crumbled feta is a good alternative)
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 large bag of white corn tortilla chips
- ⅓ cup diced red onion
- 2 Jalapeño peppers sliced
- Mexican crema or sour cream diluted with a tsp or two of water
- Fresh chopped cilantro for serving
- Lime wedges for serving
Heat butter on medium high heat in a large, cast iron pan. Add half of the fresh or frozen corn (not defrosted if using frozen) to the pan. Spread it out in the pan and let sear on each side without disturbing it too much, stirring it occasionally until most of the corn kernels have browned a little on at least one side.
Remove the corn from the pan to a medium size bowl, and repeat with the remaining frozen corn kernels. Adding addition butter if needed.
Transfer the rest of the corn to the bowl once done and add the mayonnaise, cotija cheese, lime juice and chili powder. Stir and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the tortilla chips out on a large baking sheet pan and place in the oven for 5 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.
While the tortilla chips are toasting, make the cheese sauce by setting up a double boiler with an inch of water in the lower pan. Place the 1 cup of the grated monterey jack cheese and 1 cup of the white cheddar cheese in the bowl above the double boiler. Mix with the cornstarch. Pour in milk and add the minced garlic. Bring the water in the double boiler to a boil. Let the cheese gently melt, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is smooth.
Once sauce is thickened and smooth pour it over the tortilla chips evenly and sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the top. Then sprinkle the corn mixture on the chips and top with the diced red onion and sliced jalapeño peppers. Return the baking sheet to the oven and bake for another 10 minutes until warm and bubbly.
Once out the oven drizzle the sour cream on top of the nachos, sprinkle over some extra cotija or feta to taste and sprinkle with a little chili powder. Top with fresh chopped cilantro, a squeeze of lime juice and serve with limes on the side and enjoy.
Adapted from Simply Recipes