YMCA Growing Communities Session Recipes (July 28th)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

“No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”  ― Julia Child

Thank you to all the awesome kids, parents and and volunteers who joined us for to our Growing Communities sessions at the YMCA. We hope you had a fantastic time, because we sure always do! If you're interested, you can find our brief presentation on the benefits of kids' cooking literacy here. If you have any questions, or want to tell us about any of the recipes you tried at home, give us a shout at info@growingchefsontario.ca. We love to share your great pictures and stories!

Did you know? Growing Chefs! Ontario is a registered charity based in London, Ontario. Consider supporting us in our efforts to get kids excited about wholesome healthy food! Donate online, become a Project Sponsor, or email us for more information at info@growingchefsontario.ca. Thank you in advance!


Zucchini corn fritters


  • 2 medium zucchini, coarsely shredded
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 ears corn, kernels cut off
  • 1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 large egg
  • Vegetable oil, for frying


Toss the zucchini with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl; let stand 10 minutes. Wrap the zucchini in a kitchen towel and squeeze dry.

Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, about 4 minutes. Add the corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Whisk the cornmeal, flour, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a medium bowl. Whisk the buttermilk and egg in a large bowl, then stir in the corn-onion mixture cilantro and zucchini. Add the cornmeal mixture and stir until just combined. 

Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, scoop scant 1/4 cupfuls of the batter into the oil and use the back of the measuring cup to flatten the scoops. Cook until the fritters are golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt. Serve warm or at room temperature. (You can make the fritters up to 2 hours ahead; reheat in a 375 degrees F oven on a rack set on a baking sheet.


Lemon cilantro dipping sauce

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup mayo
  • 1 lemon zest and juice
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste


Combine all ingredients and serve with fritters.


Fresh Corn Polenta


  • 12 medium ears fresh corn
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 large ripe tomato (13 ounces), finely chopped (about 2/3 cup)
  • 4 basil leaves, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, roasted, seeded, and finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons coarse salt


Husk corn and remove silk. Grate corn kernels on the fine side of a box grater. Set aside.

Place olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat; heat until bubbling. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, about 40 seconds. Add tomato and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes more. Add peppers and basil and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in corn and milk; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thick and creamy, about 30 minutes. Serve immediately.


Bacon Corn Chowder


  •             1 medium yellow onion, diced
  •             2 stalks of celery, diced
  •             8 oz smoked bacon, diced
  •             1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  •             4 cup frozen yellow corn
  •             1lb white or red potatoes, washed and chopped into 1″ chunks
  •             3 cups low sodium chicken (or vegetable) broth
  •             1 cup half and half
  •             1 tsp salt
  •             1.5 tsp black pepper
  •             1 tsp paprika
  •             1 tbsp flour
  •             1 tbsp fresh thyme, washed
  •             1 tbsp fresh chives, washed and chopped 


In a large soup pot or dutch oven, saute onion, celery, and bacon in olive oil on medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add corn, potatoes, stock, salt, pepper, and paprika.

Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on med-low 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are fork tender

In a food processor, puree 1.5 cups of chowder with 1 tbsp of flour. 

Whisk pureed mixture back into chowder. Add half and half, thyme and chives. Cover and simmer on med-low for another 10 minutes. Serve hot with chives and black pepper




  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 4 ears corn, in husks
  • 8 sprigs epazote
  • 1⁄4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1⁄2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 1⁄3 cups crumbled cotija cheese
  • 4 tsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges


Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add corn and epazote, and cook (adding more water, if necessary) until corn is tender, about 1 hour. Remove from water and let the corn cool briefly.

Peel back husks and spread 1 tbsp. butter evenly over each ear, then brush with 2 tbsp. mayonnaise and sprinkle with 1⁄3 cup cheese and 1 tsp. chile powder. Serve with lime wedges.


Corn succotash


  • 8 ears fresh corn on the cob, husked and silks removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia or Walla Walla, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 8 ounces fresh or frozen edamame (fresh blanched or frozen thawed)
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/4 cup grated cotija cheese
  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Finely grated zest of 2 fresh limes
  • 2 green onions, green and pale green part, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish


Cut the corn from the cob and put into a bowl. Use the back of the knife and press to release the milk of the cob into the bowl with the corn.

Heat the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add the corn and corn milk to the pan. 

Add the sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the corn begins to soften slightly and heats through, about 5 minutes. Add the edamame and tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the cotija and creme fraiche and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 1 minute longer.

Remove from the heat and stir in the lime zest, green onions and chopped cilantro. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with whole cilantro leaves.



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