Los Angeles is known for great street food and those craveable ears of grilled corn slathered with mayo, chile and grated cheese are one of our most iconic street eats.
In their new cookbook Lust for Leaf: Vegetarian Noshes, Bashes and Everyday Great Eats – the Hot Knives Way, Alex Brown and Evan George (who go by the alias Hot Knives) update this summertime treat for the backyard. Elote al Echo Parque (grilled corn of Echo Park) is an homage to the street food vendors on LA’s Eastside, but the duo replaces the usual pre-grated Parmesan and store bought chile powder found on street carts with Pecorino Romano and Turkish chile flakes called urfa biber. The Hot Knives recommend eating this while drinking Eagle Rock Brewery‘s Populist IPA and listening to Randy Newman’s “I Love LA.”
You can find urfa biber at The Spice Station in Silver Lake.
Listen to Evan Kleiman banter with the Hot Knives about pickle power bars, pool party food and delicious vegetarian eats below:
Elote al Echo Parque
1/2 cup cilantro leaves
1. Well, you have to have a grill going.
2. Toss the unshucked ears of corn on the grill and cap it. Give them a quarter turn every 5 minutes until the outer husk is dry and toasted. This could as long as 20 minutes depending on where your coals are. Remove the ears and let cool.
3. Grate the Pecorino on a microplane or the smallest hole on your box grater. Divide that lime into six equal wedges. Mince the cilantro.
4. Peel away the outer layers of the husk and remove as much silk as you can with your hands. Then hold the corn close over an open flame, or place back on top of the grill to burn off extra silk. Leave the cobs on the grill, or continue to toast turning over an open flame on your stove-top until 60 to 70 percent of the kernels have browned slightly.
5. Assemble each cob one at a time and hand them off immediately: start by rubbing an ear of corn with a section of lime. Then, using a spatula, cover all the kernels liberally with labneh or mayo. Sprinkle on the salt, the urfa, the cilantro, and then finish by adhering as much Pecorino as possible to whatever remaining wet spots remain on your cob.