Welcome to the next installment of my Meet the Spice Blend series, where I'm sharing the inspiration for, back stories of, and uses for my ever-expanding collection of small batch, handcrafted spice blends. Next up, let's meet Street Corn Sprinkle!!
The Inspiration - Elote (aka Mexican Street Corn)
Elote, also known as Mexican Street Corn, is a beloved culinary tradition deeply rooted in the rich tapestry of Mexican culture and history. Its origins can be traced back to pre-Columbian times when indigenous peoples cultivated maize, or corn, as a staple crop. Even after the Spanish colonization, corn continued to be a vital part of Mexican cuisine, and it is an ingredient in a myriad of dishes and preparations, elote being just one.
Today, elote is a symbol of Mexican street food culture, with vendors often found on bustling street corners and at festivals across the Mexico and north into the southwest United States and especially Southern California. The preparation typically involves grilling or roasting corn on the cob, slathering it with a mixture of mayonnaise, crema, chili powder, and cheese, and garnishing it with lime juice and cilantro. This delectable combination of flavors and textures not only satisfies the taste buds but also serves as a testament to the enduring culinary heritage and communal spirit of Mexico, where sharing a steaming ear of elote with friends and family is a cherished tradition that transcends generations.
Elote is, of course, fabulous as-is. The combination of creamy and tangy and sweet and spicy and cheesy is an absolute delight, which is exactly why I wanted to create a spice blend that captures those various elements but allows you to apply them to all kinds of dishes. Enter Street Corn Sprinkle, a mixture of nutritional yeast, masa harina, dehydrated lime, coriander, chipotle chile, California chile, Spanish paprika, kosher salt, and cumin. Dubbed "Dorito Dust" by a favorite customer, this is one blend that you'll want to sprinkle on everything, starting with your next batch of Elote.
Flavor Profile - Street Corn Sprinkle
Street Corn Sprinkle is a vibrant blend that boasts a symphony of flavors, each contributing its own element to the taste experience. The nutritional yeast brings a cheesy, umami-rich undertone, harmoniously melding with the masa harina to impart a subtle corn-like sweetness. The dehydrated lime zest infuses the blend with a refreshing citrusy zing, enhancing the warm, earthy notes of coriander and the smoky depth of the Chipotle chile. The California chile adds a mild, fruity heat, which is beautifully balanced by the sweet and smoky paprika. The kosher salt elevates all the individual flavors, allowing the robust, slightly bitter cumin to tie everything together. This blend is a dance of bold, savory, spicy, and tangy flavors, making it the perfect companion to elevate the taste of street corn or any dish that needs a burst of flavor.
Versatility in the Kitchen - Street Corn Sprinkle
Street Corn Sprinkle is incredibly versatile and can be used to elevate a variety of dishes far beyond Elote. Here are some fun ways to incorporate it into your home cooking.
1. Popcorn: Sprinkle it over freshly popped popcorn for a flavorful snack with a cheesy, spicy kick.
2. Grilled Vegetables: Toss it with olive oil and your favorite vegetables before grilling for a smoky, zesty flavor.
3. Avocado Toast: Sprinkle it over avocado toast for a delicious breakfast or snack with a burst of flavor.
4. Pasta Garnish: Mix it with olive oil and fresh herbs and toss it with pasta for a quick and flavorful meal.
5. Eggs: Add it to your morning scramble or omelet for a spicy, cheesy twist.
6. Baked Potatoes: Sprinkle it over baked or mashed potatoes for a delightful combination of smoky, tangy, and savory flavors.
7. Deviled Eggs: Mix some Street Corn Sprinkle into your deviled egg filling for a fun twist on the traditional snack. Top with a sprinkle of cotija cheese, roasted corn, and cilantro for a beautiful party snack.
8. DIY Doritos: Cut corn tortillas into triangles and fry (or bake!) them until crisp. Toss the crunchy chips in some Street Corn Sprinkle for a homemade version of Doritos.
9. Taco Topping: Sprinkle it over tacos or fajitas for an extra layer of flavor and heat.
10. Soup Enhancer: Stir it into soups or stews to add a rich, complex flavor profile.
11. Fish Marinade: Mix it with lime juice and olive oil to marinate fish for grilling or baking.
12. Pizza Seasoning: Sprinkle it over homemade pizza before baking for a unique twist on traditional flavors.
13. Yogurt Dip: Mix it with Greek yogurt to create a flavorful dip for chips or vegetables.
14. Bread Crust: Blend it with olive oil and brush it over bread before baking for a crusty, flavorful exterior.
15. Rice Flavoring: Stir it into cooked rice for a delicious side dish with a spicy kick.
Feel free to experiment and find new and exciting ways to use Street Corn Sprinkle in your culinary creations!
Ready to get your own Street Corn Sprinkle? Get it here.