While esquites can be found all over Mexico and parts of the United States, Andrés Santos Medina, one of the last standing eloteros remaining in Highland Park, prepares his esquite with a bit of chicken stock to make it extra savory, as well as fresh epazote, an herbaceous, earthy herb that rounds out the sweet flavor of corn. It’s eaten as a street snack in the afternoon to hold you over until dinner. It’s not quite a soup, but it’s also not quite a dry dish, it’s somewhere in between. Eat it with as much mayonnaise or Mexican crema as you want, a squeeze of fresh lime juice, chile powder, and cotija cheese for the full, rich snacking experience.
- Snap each ear of corn in half and place flat side on a cutting board. Carefully shave all kernels of corn.
- Meanwhile, in a 3-quart pot, add chicken stock and water. Bring to a boil.
- Once boiling, add corn, epazote, and salt. Lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, turn off the flame and let sit for another 10 minutes.
- Serve with rice and a dollop of mayonnaise, crema, or a combo of both. Sprinkle with cotija cheese and chile powder, and squeeze a little fresh lime juice.
Javier Cabral is the editor in chief of L.A. Taco, associate producer for The Taco Chronicles, and the co-author of Oaxaca: Home Cooking From the Heart of Mexico. Follow his never-ending taco rager at @theglutster.