Do you remember my last trip to Nafplio? You can find more details here! While I was there I visited Mr. Mallios’ shop. He is a former ship captain, who decided to retire and start a brand new career making Chilopites, Trachana and several other delicious Greek products. If you ever visit Nafplio don’t forget to check this shop. It has a huge selection of homemade products.
Chilopites are traditional, Greek pasta made with flour, eggs, milk and salt. All these ingredients are mixed to form a soft dough which is opened to a thin sheet and is cut in strips just like the lasagna or in small squared pieces.
Now, trachanas is a different thing altogether. It is a byproduct of wheat and it is made with flour and milk. It looks like grains and its shape is uneven. There are three basic types of Trachana:
1. Sour Trachanas: it is made with fresh milk that has started to go bad, that is to become sour and flour or semolina. If we use flour the trachana is white. If semolina is used in its preparation, then the color is yellow.
2. Sweet Trachanas: It is made with fresh milk, not stale and either flour or cracked wheat. The fresh milk gives a sweet flavor to this trachana and that’s why it is considered as sweet one.
3. For the fastening periods there is the trachanas that is made with vegetable stock, flour and yeast.
During the last stage of its preparation we lay the trachana in large surfaces to dry out. Usually we cook it as a soup either as runny as a consommé or as thick as a chowder. Sometimes we cook it with tomato paste as well.
You can watch this video on You Tube to help you understand how to make Trachana at home. You can do it yourself, it is not difficult.
Trachanas is reach in carbohydrates and that’s why it gives energy to our body, in proteins since it is made with milk, natural fibers necessary for the intestine, magnesium and calcium and iron which are highly absorbable especially the the last two and lutein a very strong antioxidant that helps our eyes, skin, heart and reproductive system.
Mr. Mallios was kind enough to give me a whole bunch of his products to try them. I was trying to think a way to make trichina, but not as a soup. I wanted to use it in a whole new way. And the idea came to me when I was working in my office. I was in the middle of a gazillion numbers trying to figure out a mistake that was made and suddenly boom the idea hit me just like Gyro Gearloose in Mickey Mouse. I decided to make Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers, Gemista as we call them in Greece, not with rice as we usually do, but with cracked wheat and trachana. I had some friends coming over, so I decided to make them my judges or Guinea pigs and let them decide if this meal was going to be my new post. They were all gone and everyone said that I should go ahead and post about them.
So, here I am along with these very tasty and out of the ordinary Gemista. I know you will not able to find trachana where you live, but you can easily replace it with cracked wheat or quinoa. It is not going to be the same, but it’s going to be pretty close.
Gemista with a Twist (Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers)
5 tomatoes not ripe we want them somewhat firm
5 peppers any type you like, I used different colors to jazz it up
8 hipping tbsp. cracked wheat
8 hipping tbsp trachana or cracked wheat or quinoa
2 small zucchinis, grated
1/3 cup chopped parsley
1 tbsp fresh spearmint, chopped
1 tsp dry spearmint
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Salt and pepper (I added 2 tsp salt and it was fine, but you can add according to your liking)
2 scallions, sliced
1 onion, chopped
¼ cup olive oil
For the Sauce
The inner parts of the tomatoes
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp sugar
½ cup water
1/3 cup olive oil
Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.
Cut the upper part of the tomatoes and with a spoon empty the tomatoes leaving a 1 cm skin around.
Cut the upper part of the peppers, remove the seeds and discard them.
In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed except the ones for the sauce.
Take each one of the tomatoes and peppers and fill them up just a little before the edge.
Place them in a Pyrex or a pan, close together.
For the Sauce
In a blender add the inner parts of the tomatoes and all the sauce ingredients except the water and olive oil and mix.
Open the cups of the Gemista and add one tbsp of the sauce into the cracked wheat/ trachana mixture and close it.
Pour the rest of the sauce in the pan, the olive oil and water as well.
Bake for 1 ½ hour or until you try the stuffing and it is soft and chewy.
You can accompany them with homemade bread and feta cheese.
- 5 tomatoes not ripe we want them somewhat firm
- 5 peppers any type you like, I used different colors to jazz it up
- 8 hipping tbsp. cracked wheat
- 8 hipping tbsp trachana or again cracked wheat or quinoa
- 2 small zucchinis,
- ⅓ cup chopped parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh spearmint, chopped
- 1 tsp dry spearmint
- 2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- Salt and pepper (I added 2 tsp salt and it was fine, but you can add according to your liking)
- 2 scallions, sliced
- 1 onion, chopped
- ¼ cup olive oil
- The inner parts of the tomatoes, mashed
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp sugar
- ½ cup water
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Preheat oven to 200° C / 400° F.
- Cut the upper part of the tomatoes and with a spoon empty the tomatoes leaving a 1 cm skin around.
- Cut the upper part of the peppers, remove the seeds and discard them.
- In a bowl mix all the ingredients listed except the ones for the sauce.
- Take each one of the tomatoes and peppers and fill them up just a little before the edge.
- Place them in a Pyrex or a pan, close together.
- For the Sauce
- In a blender add the inner parts of the tomatoes and all the sauce ingredients except the water and olive oil and mix.
- Open the cups of the Gemista and add one tbsp of the sauce into the cracked wheat/ trachana mixture and close it.
- Pour the rest of the sauce in the pan, the olive oil and water as well.
- Bake for 1 ½ hour or until you try the stuffing and it is soft and chewy.
- 5 ντομάτες όχι ώριμες
- 5 πιπεριές οποιοδήποτε είδος σας αρέσει
- 8 γεμάτες κ.σ. πλιγούρι
- 8 γεμάτες κ.σ. γλυκό τραχανά
- 2 μικρά κολοκυθάκια, τριμμένα
- ⅓ φλ. ψιλοκομμένο μαϊντανό
- 1 κ.σ. δυόσμο φρέσκο, ψιλοκομμένο
- 1 κ.σ. ξερό δυόσμο
- 2 κ.σ. φρέσκο βασιλικό, ψιλοκομμένο
- Αλάτι και πιπέρι (πρόσθεσα 2 κ.γ. αλάτι και ήταν μια χαρά)
- 2 κρεμμυδάκια, κομμένα σε φέτες
- 1 κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο
- ¼ φλ. ελαιόλαδο
- Τη σάρκα από τις ντομάτες
- ½ κ.γ. κανέλα
- ½ κ.γ. μοσχοκάρυδο
- Αλάτι και πιπέρι
- 1 κ.σ. ζάχαρη
- ½ φλ. νερό
- ⅓ φλ. ελαιόλαδο
- Προθερμαίνετε το φούρνο στους 200° C.
- Κόψτε το πάνω μέρος από τις τομάτες και με ένα κουτάλι αδειάστε τις.
- Κόψτε το πάνω μέρος των πιπεριών και αφαιρέστε τους σπόρους.
- Σε ένα μπολ ανακατέψτε όλα τα υλικά που αναφέρονται, εκτός από εκείνα για τη σάλτσα.
- Πάρτε κάθε μία από τις ντομάτες και τις πιπεριές και γεμίστε τις ακριβώς όπως κάνετε με τα γεμιστά.
- Τοποθετήστε τα σε ένα πυρέξ ή πήλινο ή ένα ταψί, κοντά το ένα στο άλλο.
- Για τη σάλτσα
- Σε ένα μπλέντερ ρίξτε τα εσωτερικά μέρη από τις ντομάτες και όλα τα υλικά της σάλτσας εκτός από το νερό και το ελαιόλαδο και ανακατέψτε.
- Ανοίξτε τα γεμιστά και προσθέστε μια κουταλιά της σούπας από τη σάλτσα στο μίγμα πλιγούρι /τραχανά και ξανακλείστε τα.
- Ρίξτε την υπόλοιπη σάλτσα στο ταψί καθώς και το ελαιόλαδο και το νερό.
- Ψήστε για 1 ½ ώρα ή μέχρι το πλιγούρι και ο τραχανάς να μαλακώσουν και να χυλώσουν.