It was a lovely dish. Creamy risotto with peas and baby artichokes, shredded roast chicken and lots of Pecorino and lemon zest and fresh dill at the end. I had been romanticizing about it it all day, and it turned out just as I'd imagined-- delicate yet flavorful. A celebration of early spring.
When I got my family to the table, however, pure chaos ensued. My nine year old pretended like he was throwing up onto the plate, and then spent the next 10 minutes in the bathroom, probably strategizing about how he was going to pretend to eat it, then sneak a soynut butter and jelly sandwich when I turned my back. My six year old took one look at her plate and started crying... and then tried to take a bite, and before the rice could get to her lips, she started gagging. And the three year old acted like she normally does-- screaming at the top of her lungs at the sight of anything green.
I guess I have to admit, it did kind of look like oatmeal with peas in it. Which would be kind of a gross dinner. Once I finally got them to take a bite (by threatening them, then laying on the guilt trip), they relaxed a little bit, and said it was ok ("Though not your best work,").
The next day, I took the leftover risotto (right out of the fridge, so it was nice and cold and sticky), and made hockey-pucks out of it. Then I dipped each hockey puck into flour, then a little beaten egg, then panko.
I heated a skillet, then added the little risotto cakes to a few tablespoons of hot olive oil, and fried them until the breadcrumbs were nicely golden on both sides and the rice was heated through... Gave each kid a couple, with a side salad and some mustardy-mayo. They didn't even recognize it, until one of them spied an artichoke. But then they admitted:"Much better, Mommy."
I agreed. Next time, I will try serving it with a piece of salmon (just so I can hear them bitch again).