Street Food Mexican Style

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 Street food has become a favorite way to satisfy one’s hunger for special types of cuisine. It’s been documented in a recent film called Chef that tells the story of the gourmet chef who cooks across the country from Miami to L.A. in a food truck. This interest in food trucks and mobile food delivery has been around a while, but seems to be growing in neighborhoods across the U.S.

In fact, exotic food of all kinds has become accessible to the public thirst to taste something different and delicious. Food celebrities who cook for us on TV have stimulated this interest even more. The real thing has become available overnight in the motorized food trucks parked on the main streets of America. Brick and mortar cafes must now compete with an international array of meals you pick up on your way back to work. It’s certainly more informal, but no less wonderful.

This food gives the public access to spices and special recipes even when we are unable to visit the cultures where they are eaten. Afghan stews and Eastern European foods like borscht and Scandinavian creamed herring are still available in mobile vans that are waiting to serve us. And food trucks have replaced the local deli by satisfying our yen for a schmear of scallion cream cheese, smoked salmon and sliced onion on a toasted bagel—a sandwich that used to be exclusive to large metropolitan cities. Feeling like eating a bento box of sushi or a bowl of Vietnamese pho? Chances are pretty good that you will find satisfaction at a local food truck.

It seems like the food truck phenomenon is a quick way for immigrants and others struggling to make a living in today’s marketplace. And this effort is meeting the needs of a hungry public looking for the next food pleasure. But it certainly is not an easy route to self employment. Yet if you are young, energetic and unemployed, food trucks offer an option that our American culture appreciates. Small mom and pop grocery stores and tiny cafes that used to be popular are being replaced by the food trucks that offer a growing diversity of culinary delights.

Keep in mind, however, that finding even a used food truck decked out in all the necessary equipment, and satisfying the many permits that towns and health departments require, may not be for everyone. This is because the time needed to operate such a venture takes talent, let alone culinary experience. But for those of us who are ambitious and eager to make their mark, let alone extra income, this could be a route to consider.

Personally I am still looking for a South American food truck that offers Latin foods. In particular I miss the variety of tastes and flavors available with corn on a stick. This is different than fried corn you may remember from attending state fairs. It’s a combination of roasted corn on the cob, cheeses, mayo, and delicious spices that are not too spicy or hot, but so good. Once you try one, you will want another.

Roasted Corn on the Cob (Elote in Spanish)

elote

 

 

 

 

 

 

4 ears corn, shucked
½ cup mayo
½ cup grated cotija or Parmesan cheese
½ cup Monterey Jack Cheese
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
4 wedges lime

1. Preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.

2. Use white corn if possible. It’s better. Remove silk from corn, leave husks on, and soak for 15 minutes.

3. Grill corn until hot and lightly charred all over, 5 minutes and remove the husks.

4. Push 8-inch sticks into the end of the corn. Use a cloth hot pad.

5. Combine chili powder, cumin and lime juice and mix together with the mayo.

6. Roll the corn over the mayo mixture.

Chef Allan Zox

 

Check out Zox’s Kitchen on www.longislandweekly.com for more recipes. Visit www.zoxkitchen.com for details about past columns.

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