Written by Katherine Sasser.

Photos by Elizabeth McLaurin.

Back in my early days of blogging, this recipe was one of my most popular posts. I used to have strangers stop me in the grocery store telling me about how often they make Crack Corn. I would receive emails from friends of friends, asking for the recipe. Crack Corn is a crowd favorite.

I’m not sure who first called it Crack Corn, but it one hundred percent a nod to this corn’s addictive qualities. Grilled corn is slathered with a chili lime sauce and topped with salty cheese and grated lime zest. It’s heaven on a cob.

One thing I have learned recently is a new way to cook corn. We all know that grilled corn is delicious, but what about when you don’t have a grill, or you simply don’t want to fire up the grill? You’re going to love this. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, do NOTHING to the corn (leave the silks on, leave it in the husk), and put it in the oven for 30 minutes. It comes out tender and tasty, and it is so simple!

Another thing I learned recently (so much learning going on over here) is that there are some cheese substitutions you can make. The recipe calls for cotija cheese. The friendly cheese expert at Central Market told me that cotija cheese is used when the desired outcome is to add a salty punch to the finished dish. So, if you cannot find cotija cheese, a few substitution options would be feta, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or ricotta salata. Those last two may not be on the shelves at many grocery stores, but feta is readily available and will get the job done!

I hope you enjoy this delicious side dish!

Crack Corn

8 ears of fresh corn, grilled (or cooked however you please) 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons ancho chile powder 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
4 oz grated cotija cheese (also called queso anejado) 2 limes, zested


Stir together the mayonnaise, garlic, ancho chile powder, lime juice, and salt in a medium bowl. This can be used right away, but the flavor is drastically improved if you let the flavors meld for a minimum of thirty minutes. You can also make this up to one day in advance.

Grill or cook the corn however you like.

Spread the hot ears of corn with the chile lime sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and lime juice. Enjoy!

Note: Feta or Parmesan may be substituted for the cotija cheese. You are looking for something that will add a salty punch to the finished dish.

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