Tacos and Tequila serves elote, grilled corn with spiced mayo and cotija, at its restaurant in Austin. You can shave the kernels off before eating or eat it straight off the cob. Photo from TNT.

The popularity of Mexican street corn, slathered in mayonnaise and dusted with chili powder and cotija cheese, has inspired many Mexican restaurants in America, including Tacos and Tequila at 507 Pressler St. in Austin, to use those ingredients for their own spin on elote.

The TNT version uses grilled corn rolled in ancho mayonnaise and grated cotija cheese, the salty hard cheese that often draws comparison to Parmesan, and dusted with a chili-powder-based spice mix, and customers can either eat it on the cob or ask for the kernels to be shaved off tableside. (Letís be honest, eating corn on the cob can be a messy affair.)

In this at-home version, the restaurant suggests using canned chipotles in adobo rather than roasting, peeling and seeding the ancho chilies yourself. When you buy that can of chipotles, you might as well puree the whole thing with a splash of water and use the liquid in marinades, salsas or this mayonnaise. Whether you eat the corn off the cob or on a plate is up to you.

Chili-Dusted Mexican Corn

4 ears corn, in the husk
1 cup grated cotija cheese
For the chili mix:
1 Tbsp. chili powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
For the chipotle mayonnaise:
1 tsp. pureed chipotles in adobo (or more to taste)
1/2 cup mayonnaise

Peel back the husk on each ear of corn to expose the kernels, leaving husks attached at the base. Remove the silk threads and tie husks together with kitchen twine around base of cob. You can now use this bunch of tied up husks as a handle. Transfer the ears of corn to a large bowl or pot of water and let soak for 30 minutes.

While the corn is soaking, prepare the chipotle mayonnaise and the chili mix. Combine the spices in one small bowl and mix together the pureed chipotles and mayo in another.

Drain the corn and grill on a charcoal or gas grill over medium-high heat. Cook, turning occasionally, until charred and cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove corn from grill and brush with the chipotle mayonnaise. Place the grated cotija cheese on a plate and roll each ear of corn in the cheese to coat. Sprinkle corn evenly with some of the chili mix, pressing the corn a bit so that seasonings and cheese stick to the mayonnaise. You may trim the husks before serving, depending on your preference. Serves 4.

ó Tacos and Tequila