Cooking – that’s my way for relaxing, especially after a hard work day at the office. I spend a little time in my kitchen and all my senses that I lose during the day come back. But one thing even better, apparently, is spending some kitchen-time with a friend!
Yesterday after work I met my Dutch friend Caroline in Itäkeskus. We first did shopping together in Lidl and in S-market, then we headed to her apartment. I had never been to her place before, it was a nice and sweet apartment just like her. And I got to meet her cat as well, whose name right now I cannot recall unfortunately – well we could not “talk” so much with the cat since she only spoke Dutch. But nonetheless, she did appear in all sorts of places around me while we were cooking and she was also an essential part of the dinner table as we were eating.
Caroline showed me how she cooks chicken and some root vegetables, in a very light and easy way. She did most of the work but I helped a bit by peeling – with a “peeler” which I normally never use, I do the peeling work with the good old “knife”. We did not use whole of the each vegetable we bought, but even so we ended up cooking quite a big portion of food so I’m guessing Caroline will be eating some roasted root vegetables for the following few days.
And here it goes:
1/2 sweet potato (bataatti – you would never guess how it was called in Finnish, no?)
1/2 eggplant (since eggplants are HUGE in Finland, but if you are living in a country where vegetables have rational sizes, then 1 eggplant would be better)
About 1/2 celery root (they are sold in package in S-market)
1-2 garlic cloves
2 chicken fillets (1 for each of us)
1. Chop half of the eggplant, first in big round pieces. Add some olive oil (about 1/2 table spoon), salt and pepper. Spread this mixture all over the eggplant pieces.
3. Peel and chop in cubes: sweet potato, carrot, celery root, potato and eggplant. Put them all on an oven tray, on a baking sheet. Try to spread them all over the tray so that each pieces of vegetables have an easy access to heat! Chop garlics as well and spread them on the vegetable mixture. Finally, pour 2 table spoons of olive oil on the mixture on tray, add salt and pepper and stir them a little so that it all has the oil and others. Put it inside the oven, in the middle section.
4. It takes a while for the vegetables to cook so take a little bit of time chatting, talking about many things with your friend, just as we did! Then take the 2 chicken fillets, pour some paprika, salt and pepper on each surface of the fillets. Add 1 table spoon of olive oil on a pan and put the chicken fillets on the pan and cook it as much as you like!
5. When the vegetables are ready as well, which took about 30-40 minutes, put 1 each fillet for each person and some vegetables next to chicken and serve!
I have to admit that I haven’t been eating / cooking so much chicken anymore since I somehow find the chicken sold in Finnish markets a little strange, I may also have lost the passion for chicken probably. But this one was really delicious, and it reminded me of my passion once for chicken breast, which I ate so often (every single day) that I would turn into a chicken myself.
But the best part of last night was, beyond doubt, spending time together with my friend and then eating this lovely meal with a lovely chat – about anything and everything, and of course with some girl talk about boys!