Grilled corn ribs, elote style!
4 ears corn, shucked
3 tablespoons avocado oil, plus more for the grill grates
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 limes, halved
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream or Mexican crema
1 small clove garlic, grated
1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
Chile-lime seasoning, such as Tajín, for serving
To make the corn ribs: Using a large chef’s knife and a large steady cutting board, cut off the ends of the corn cobs to make them flat. Next, cut the cobs in half crosswise. Stand a cob on one flat end and carefully and slowly cut down through the core, rocking the knife back and forth if necessary, to split the cob in half lengthwise. Repeat with the remaining cobs. Lay a split corn cob on its flat side on the cutting board and cut lengthwise through the cob, pressing down and rocking the knife back and forth if necessary, to make 2 long corn ribs. Repeat with the remaining cobs. (You should have 32 ribs total.)
Put the corn ribs in a bowl and toss with the oil, smoked paprika, garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and several grinds of pepper.
Prepare a grill for medium-high heat; lightly oil the grates.
Arrange the corn ribs on the grill with one of the cut sides down and close the lid. Cook until the edges are beginning to char and curl slightly, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the ribs to the second cut side, close the lid, and cook until the edges are nicely charred, and the corn kernels are crisp-tender, another 6 to 8 minutes.
Add the lime to the grill cut-side down and cook until caramelized 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic, and a pinch of salt in a large bowl until evenly combined.
Transfer the corn ribs to the mayonnaise mixture and toss to evenly coat. Put the corn ribs on a platter, then sprinkle with the queso fresco, cilantro, and a good shake of chile-lime seasoning.
Squeeze the grilled lime halves over the corn as desired.
*Recipe and photos by Sheila Espinosa Martin