Panko and Yogurt Baked (fried) Chicken

Pretty much all online breaded chicken recipes call for eggs and flour and I don't prefer it that way, I like more crunch and flavor and less grease, to do things a little differently.  I decided to use the last bit of greek yogurt in the fridge mine is homemade but any store bought plain flavored yogurt works. These by far are the best breaded chicken breasts, all juicy and in their crunchy glory. ALL of my children ate this chicken and enjoyed it {now that is definitely something worthy of writing about}....

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, rinsed and trimmed of any fat
1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 cups Italian panko bread crumbs
dash of salt, or pepper or any seasoning mixes or packets you want, we've done ranch and taco both were fabulous

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly grease a baking sheet like olive oil because it makes a crispier crust on the chicken.
Rinse each chicken breast and pat dry.  Set aside.
Put the yogurt Into a medium mixing bowl.
In another mixing bowl or a ziplock bag, I prefer it in the bag because it makes for easier clean up  I can just chuck it. Add the panko bread crumbs and a dash of kosher salt, or seasonings.
Roll each chicken breast in the Greek yogurt, until you have a nice layer on each side.  
Then, roll the yogurt covered chicken breast in the bread crumbs, until completely coated on each side.
Place each chicken breast on lightly greased baking sheet.  Repeat for each chicken breast.
Place in oven {uncovered} for 25 to 30 minutes, I like to turn them over halfway through to get it really crisp on both sides, bake until the chicken is no longer pink in center.  

We eat it with baked green beans and baked potatoes, it all goes in the oven and finishes around the same time.

Homemade Fermented Mustard

1 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar I use the Bragg's with the "mother" in it.
1 1/3 cup mustard seeds (I like 50/50 yellow and brown) remember the darker the seed the spicier it is
2 teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste I use the kind without iodine
1-2 tablespoon brown sugar (optional)
Honey (optional, for honey mustard)

In a large bowl or jar (a wide mouth quart jar works perfectly) combine the first three ingredients. Cover and set aside at least 24 hours.
The next day, the mustard seeds will have absorbed most of the liquid. Add sugar and salt and blend in a blender or food processor until creamy, 1-2 minutes.  As with most things I make I used my magic bullet to process it. If you prefer it chunkier like I do then put aside half of the soaked overnight seeds then add them back in after blending the rest.    
Store in a glass jar, I've noticed if I store it in anything else the mustard will pick up off flavors from the containers.
If you taste the mustard at this point, it will be quite vinegar-y and sharp; for the best flavor, cover the jar again and let set at room temperature for another 24-72 hours. When the flavor is what you like, refrigerate the mustard and use within 3 months, makes a pint.
Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen, this is a great recipe to play around with the flavors. Use a different vinegar (I’m planning to try red wine vinegar soon, and imagine malt or champagne vinegar would also be interesting), or try another liquid to replace the cider (apple juice for a non-alcoholic version, but I’m also curious to try a dark beer or even something like bourbon). As long as you maintain the proportion of liquid to mustard seeds (2 parts vinegar, 2 parts mustard seeds, 1 part additional liquid), the possibilities are completely up to you.
At this point you can add other flavorings such as garlic, or honey.

Wonton and Egg Roll Wrappers

2 cups flour (wheat or rice or any gluten free kind you want)
1 egg
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 -1/2 cup cold water

Sift flour into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Whisk together egg, salt and 1/4 cup water. Pour into flour well. Mix together, adding additional water until the mixture will stay together in a ball. (You may need more or less then 1/2 cup, use your discretion. Keep in mind that you do not want it to be sticky.) Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and pliable. Let rest for 30-60 min. (This is so the gluten can relax. The longer it sits the easier it will be to roll out) Divide dough in half. Keep half covered (a damp towel works best) while you roll out the other out on a surface lightly coated with cornstarch (if you use flour it may toughen it up). Roll out as thin as you possibly can. Cut into 3.5 inch squares (You should be able to get about.12 wonton wrappers out of each half).  Makes 24 wrappers.

Helpful Tips: You can store them in your fridge for a couple of days or in the freezer for longer storage. If you are not going to use them right away then they will probably shrink back a bit. But, the dough is so pliable they are easy to stretch out one at a time just before you fill/use them. If you are wanting to stack them, coat them in cornstarch. If you stack them with flour it will absorb into the dough and they will become one solid mass. If they have been in the fridge for a couple of days and the moisture seems to have removed most of the cornstarch re-coat them again before placing in the freezer. It is important to keep the dough covered as much as possible or it will dry out. Any dough/wrappers that are not being worked with should be covered, preferably with a damp towel. If you have a pasta maker then these are even easier to make. Just pass them through, gradually going to the thinnest setting
This same dough is used to make boiled wontons, fried wontons or pot stickers, egg-roll wrappers, spring roll wrappers, Chinese noodles and egg noodles, depending on the size you cut them and how you cook them.


How to soak and sprout wheat.

Here is how I sprout my wheat. Add wheat berries hard red or white (or grain of choice, oat groats or barley) to a bowl and cover the berries with filtered water it is essential to not use chlorinated water.  Allow the berries to soak for 6-12 hours, then dump off the extra water (I use a small strainer to make this step easy).
Twice a day, run fresh water over the grain and then strain off the excess water again.  Allow the berries to remain on the counter (covered) for 3 days until the berries have sprouted little 'tails' that are about a quarter of an inch long.  You can put them in a Ziplock bag that is not closed in the fridge.

Once the wheat berries have sprouted, throw the grains in your dehydrator for 12-ish hours, or until completely dry.  You could also do this on a baking sheet in your oven on the lowest temperature. 

Grind into flour and you're ready to go!  I then store mine in the fridge or freezer until I'm ready to use it.

 I do mine in a magic bullet cup though, it goes pretty fast. You can use a blender or a grain grinder.   If you don't have a grain grinder, you can also grind the grain in your coffee grinder.  Since most recipes don't call for more than a few cups of flour, grinding in the coffee grinder can be pretty efficient.

When you are just getting started use your favorite bread recipe, and substitute half a cup of flour that the recipe calls for with the sprouted wheat flour and up it next time you make it. Until you feel confident and satisfied with the result.

You may be wondering why should you want to sprout your grains and isn't whole grains good enough.  There are three main differences between whole grains and sprouted grains:
1) Sprouting activates essential enzymes in food
2) Sprouting increases the amount of vitamin content
3) Sprouting neutralizes anti-nutrients, like phytic acid, which constrict the body's ability to fully absorb nutrition.

Regular white or even whole wheat products can cause a lot of problems in our digestive systems, causing mucous buildup, allergic reactions, and even constipation. This means the body is unable to absorb the nutrients it needs. However, with sprouted wheat, these negative effects can often be eliminated. A lot of wheat-intolerant people are able to handle sprouted wheat bread products because the starch is already converted to simple sugars. It's a lot easier to break down. 

Homemade Ricotta Cheese or Cottage Cheese (continuation from Mozzarella post)

I usually make this cheese while making Mozzarella or right after...waste not, right?  And everyone around my house loves this stuff.
Make sure to do it with fresh whey, no more than 3 hours old, left over from making hard cheese.  If you don't have whey, buttermilk can be used as a wonderful substitute.

Heat the whey in a pot until foam appears.  This usually happens just prior to boiling; if the mixture boils, it will taste burned.
Turn off the heat; let the whey set for 5 minutes.
Gently skim off the foam and place the whey in a colander lined with butter muslin or fine hole cheese cloth.
Let drain for 15 minutes, then refrigerate.  This ricotta will keep for up to one week in the refrigerator.

About 1/2 pound per gallon of whey.

*For cottage Cheese, basically you follow the instructions above but add 2 tablespoons fulls of white vinegar to the hot whey and heat it to 95 degrees F, the curd will separate from the liquid.  Use a cloth lined colander and follow the steps above.