Chileatole De Elote (Chileatole Of Fresh Corn)

Sep 16th, 2017 | By | Category: blog, cook something, soups and salads
Chileatole De Elote (Chileatole Of Fresh Corn), Diana Kennedy

Chileatole De Elote, Diana Kennedy

Chileatole De Elote from Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy
By Diana Kennedy
Hardcover, 459 pages
University of Texas Press
List price: $50

The following recipe comes from Diana Kennedy’s latest book Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy, which focuses on the traditions of the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca.

Each recipe in the book is about more than creating a meal. It is about preserving a rich culinary culture and history in what is a remote part of Mexico.

There are many simple recipes in the book the American home cook will be able to prepare, and many more they will not because ingredients are hard to find. Yet, Ms. Kennedy is unconcerned, saying, “How many recipes does anyone actually cook from any of their cookbooks?”

The following recipe is one Ms. Kennedy collected from Maestra Cleofas Feliciano Bautista, Tuxtepec and Usila.

Chileatole De Elote (Chileatole Of Fresh Corn)
by Diana Kennedy

This chileatole is always prepared in Usila when the fresh corn is harvested in both Holy Week and later in the rainy season. It is a meal in itself and served alone. The chileatole is best cooked in a clay pot, or olla.

6 portions


  • 8 cups (2 L) water
  • 6 small, tender ears of corn, each cut into 4 pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) fresh corn kernels
  • 12 chiles tabaqueros or dried serranos or 10 red costenos
  • 2 large sprigs epazote
  • Sugar to taste
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat the water in an earthenware pot (if available), and when it comes to a boil, add the pieces of corn. Cook over medium heat until just tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, toast the whole chiles lightly in an ungreased pan, taking care not to let them burn. Transfer to the blender jar with 1/2 cup (125 ml) of the cooking water and blend until smooth.
  3. Add to the pan and cook for about 3 minutes.
  4. Blend the corn kernels with 2 cups (500 ml) of the cooking water to a slightly textured puree; add to the pot with the epazote, sugar, and salt if necessary.
  5. Cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot to prevent sticking, until the atole begins to thicken, about 15 minutes.
  6. Add more water — up to 2 cups (500 ml) — if necessary to obtain a medium consistency.
  7. Serve the chileatole in deep plates with 4 pieces of corn per portion.

Excerpted from Oaxaca al Gusto: An Infinite Gastronomy by Diana Kennedy. Copyright 2010 by Diana Kennedy. Excerpted by permission of University of Texas Press.

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