RECIPE: Esquites



Asia had rice. Europe had wheat. And The Americas had maiz - CORN. In Mexico there are over 59 native varieties of maiz and the differences in flavor, texture, color run the gamut. The last time I was in Mexico City I went to one of my favorite mezcal bars - Mano Santa. Between copitas of angustofolia and karwinski, my boyfriend and I became peckish and Esquites was on the menu. The pairing of the classic sweet street food snack and the smokey mezcal carried me to another culinary palette that I love to introduce to my friends at dinner parties.

For the corn, I prefer organic because Monsanto's corn scares the shit out of me. Read more about Monsanto's Frankenstein practices of playing God here.



  1. Over medium heat toast the chile de arbol until it becomes fragrant like peanuts over a comal. Once cooled, chop this into a fine powder. Skip this step if you are using Tajin.
  2. Heat the lard until melted and add the diced onion and jalapeño. Sautée for 5 minutes until onion is translucent. 
  3. Add the epazote or cilantro and corn and stir until coated. Add 1/4 cup water and cover the mixture allowing it to cook for 5 minutes over med-low heat.
  4. Remove the pot from heat and allow the mixture to cool. Salt to taste.
  5. Serve into small ramequins and garnish with fresh cotija cheese, chili de arbol or Tajin, and freshly squeezed lime juice.


  • 1 chili de arbol toasted on the comal or Tajin.
  • 1 tablespoon lard OR butter
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 1lb bag of frozen organic corn, brought to room temp
  • 2 sprigs of fresh epazote OR cilantro
  • 1 lime wedge
  • Grated cotija cheese
  • Salt to taste