Red Corn with Cotija Cheese

August 3, 2010

I was strolling through the produce section at my local grocery store and was drawn to a package of red corn. The brand was Colorful Harvest and they came 4 to a package. Sweet Red Corn to eat? I had no idea… thought it was just dried for wreaths, cornucopias and other Thanksgiving decorations, hah!

As you can tell by previous posts, I’m a total sucker for packaging, color, etc. when it comes to grocery shopping. It’s the designer in me.

When I got home I looked up “red corn” on the iPad and found out that like red pomegranates and purple grapes, red corn derives its color from health-promoting antioxidants. It also said that this means that it’s both more visually appealing and healthier than traditional corn. Um, it’s also more expensive 😉

I found a simple Red Corn with Cotija Cheese recipe online (on 4 different websites – so not sure who gets credit) and thought I’d give it a try.

The Ingredients:

4 Ears of Red Corn
4 Teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Teaspoon Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Lime Juice (I used the cheater juice, my limes had dried up)
3 Tablespoons Cotija Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste

I cut the corn from the raw cobs and added them to a sauté pan with the olive oil on medium/high heat.

I stirred the kernels and then added the sugar and let them cook for a good 3-4 minutes – until lightly browned. I added the lime juice, salt and pepper and then let the corn cook for an additional 3 minutes.

I then sprinkled on the Cotija cheese and got it all mixed in. In case you aren’t familiar with Cotija cheese, it’s a mild flavor Mexican cheese with a crumbly texture. I find it in the refrigerated cheese section next to the salsa at my local grocery store.

The kitchen smelled amazing. I could not wait to dive into the bowl.

A different view…

I will definitely be making this dish again. Dan doesn’t like to eat corn off the cob, he usually cuts his, so this is perfect. No boiling water, no steaming – just a quick 10 minutes and you have an awesome side dish.

I served it with a protein smoothie which I don’t recommend, hah! – I had just gotten off the treadmill and was starvin marvin… I needed the calories and didn’t feel like fixing a protein to go along with the corn. I’m also going to try the recipe with regular yellow or white (10 for a $1) corn. One of the recipes also added cilantro, might try that next time.

The red corn package also came with a recipe for Chipotle Butter and Lime – so I’m going to share that too.

1 Stick of unsalted butter (for 6 ears of corn – geez, that’s a lot of butter)
1/2 Tablespoon Minced Chipotle Pepper in Adobo Sauce
2 Teaspoons Fresh Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Salt

In a pan melt butter and add minced chipotle peppers. Saute for 1 minute. Add lime juice and stir.  Brush ears of corn with butter mixture and refrigerate until butter solidifies. Grill corn on medium heat turning frequently until cooked through. Sprinkle with salt to taste and serve.

Sounds delicious… definitely trying that next.

So how do you like your corn? Steamed? Grilled? Do you use corn holders? Butter? Salt? Pepper? Plain? Tell me your corn secrets…



  1. First of all…I will hope to find that cheese in my area. I’m sure it has to be around here somewhere 🙂 This recipe comes just in time since I have 10 ears of corn waiting for me from mom’s garden. My boys don’t like eating it off the cob either. Never saw red corn before!

    We usually just steam the corn and eat it with butter and salt and pepper. I “shave” it off the cob for the boys.

    • I think you will easily be able to find the cheese Aim – it’s near the chilled Mexican items in the cheese section. They had 5-6 different brands…but then again, this is CA. Hah!

  2. Sounds wonderful!!! I’m going to try this. Lately, I’ve been buying corn from Costco—it’s expesive though- 8 ears for $5.99. They are cleaned and packaged. Worth every penny. My favorite way of doing corn is on the grill. I take each piece of corn and place onto a piece of foil.I add a scant of butter a couple of places ontop of the corn, and course black pepper…Roll it up & bend the ends. It only takes a couple of minutes on each side on the grill. During our family bbq’s this is a must have from my BFF Bro-in-law. ENJOY!!!!

    • Yum, your grill method sounds simple, gotta give that a try too… and I agree, unless my corn comes off the truck at the local produce stand or farmer’s market, I’m all for the ease of cleaned and packaged when needing mid-week dinners on the table fast.

  3. I have never heard of or seen red corn before. Very cool! It looks more like beans when cooked than corn. I roast my corn in the husk in the oven. You run the corn through water first and then throw it in the oven. It steams in the husk and is super easy to remove the husk and silks after cooking. It almost all comes off together at once. Super easy and really yummy! I also enjoy grilling corn on the BBQ or in a grill pan without the husk…directly on the grill. Only takes a very short time. I’ve used a chili lime butter several times, so I’m sure the chipotle one would be DELICIOUS.

    I find that cotija cheese is a bit like feta, don’t you? Here in California you’ll find it on top of your refried beans, enchiladas and salads at many mexican restaurants.

    • Never tried the oven in the husk method, interesting… And yes, the Cojita is the same type of texture as feta – maybe a little softer, it grades super easy with the microplane.

  4. That red corn is beautiful!! I like my corn either grilled or steamed/boiled. And I eat it plain. Yum! Love the fresh summer fruits and veggies.

  5. I have never ever seen red corn before. It is gorgeous! That alone made my mouth water, then you add in Cotija cheese and I’m literally drooling over here!
    Most of the time we make corn on the BBQ, just a little olive oil, salt and pepper but I also like it creamed (has to be homemade) or my new favorite Fresh Corn Pesto. Ever since I made this I have been dreaming of it. So wrong, but yet so right ;o)

    • Glad I am not the only one that dreams about certain dishes, hah! Btw, I LOVE creamed corn and have never made it. Gotta try that too.

  6. I did a version of this last night… I added some onion, some ripe banana peppers, and diced eggplant (the peppers and eggplant were from the garden). Yummmmmmmmy! I love reading food/recipe blogs, because then I get inspired to experiment in my kitchen. So thanks!

    • Your version sounds awesome, love that you doctored it up with your own garden veggies.

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