Corn with Roasted Chiles, Creme Fraiche & Cotija Cheese

My Friends-giving this past weekend was a success! Seriously, all of my awesome friends pulled out their fanciest dishes ever and I’m still stuffed from the wonderful feast. We had a wide spread of side dishes including macaroni and cheese with truffle oil, tater tot casserole, kabocha squash soup, chorizo cornbread stuffing, garlic roasted asparagus, and mashed potatoes. Aside from the Good Eats Turkey that I had made, I had made gravy from the roast drippings, cranberry sauce with port and dried figs (on the blog tomorrow), and this fabulous corn dish. The dessert spread was pretty fantastic, pumpkin and sweet potato pie, lemon cheesecake, lemon cookie cake and rum cake. Oh my word…there was plenty of food to boot!

One of the requested side dishes from my husband and the guys was this corn with roasted chiles, creme fraiche and cotija cheese. (A little fancy request, huh?) The back story is two months ago the guys had dined at Mesa Grill in Las Vegas during a bachelor’s fest, and it was the one dish that the guys were claiming better than creamed corn and they were raving about it to me. This was the dish if any, that I had to recreate for them for our Friends-giving. My guy friends know me too well, and that I’ll take food requests if need be. I couldn’t resist and I absolutely love any of the dishes from Mesa Grill.

This side dish was easy enough to prepare and I tripled the original recipe to make sure that I had an ample serving of corn for the guys. It has a little bit of heat from the serrano and poblano chile and was quite refreshing from the citrus with a touchy of creaminess from the crème fraiche.  If you can’t find crème fraiche, you can easily substitute sour cream but I found it at Trader Joe’s. It definitely adds that extra wow factor. This was definitely a crowd-pleaser and I already have requests to make it again. I’m forever grateful and thankful for my friends that made our Friends-giving possible.

Corn with Roasted Chiles, Creme Fraiche & Cotija Cheese
Adapted from Mesa Grill
Printable Recipe Ingredients: 3 tablespoons canola oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 roasted serrano chile, finely diced 1 small roasted poblano chile, finely diced 1 roasted red pepper, finely diced 2 cups fresh corn, kernels removed Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 tablespoons cold unsalted butter 2 tablespoons crème fraiche Juice of 1 lime 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro ¼ cup grated cotija cheese


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Add the serrano chile, red bell pepper and poblano chile on the baking sheet. Lightly coat with canola oil and sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides. Roast for about 15 to 20 minutes in the oven, make sure the skins are slightly charred. Midway cooking time, make sure to flip and rotate the chiles so all sides get roasted. Remove from oven, and place in a large bowl. Cover with saran wrap, and let sit for 15 minutes. The skins should be soft to remove from the slightest touch, and peel away. Chop into 1-inch pieces, and set aside. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and serrano chile and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the poblano, red pepper and corn and cook until the corn is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in butter, crème fraiche, lime juice and cilantro. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with cotija cheese. Yield: 4 servings

Review: Absolutely delicious! The guys only complaint that it wasn’t nearly as creamy as Mesa Grill’s, and that can be easily fixed by adding an extra tablespoon or two of butter to the recipe. They wanted “melt in your mouth butter-tastic roasted corn.” It was definitely a nice change-up from the traditional creamed corn, and a wonderful modern dish to our Friends-giving spread.

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