Budget holiday: Fun finger foods for festive fêtes

Tired of the same old cheese, chips and dip at a Christmas party? Want something unique and tasty to impress your guests? Take your fete up a notch with Chef Steve Chiapetti's easy-to-make and delicious bites, including stuffed potato chips and gouda lollipops:

Gouda Lollipops
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    • Maize flour 1 cup
    • Water 1 1/2 cup
    • Brown sugar 2 tbsp
    • Grated Gouda cheese 1 cup
    • Cumin 1/2 tsp
    • Cinnamon 1/2 tsp
    • Salt to taste
    • Black pepper to taste


Baking Directions:

Heat the water and pour into a bowl. Add the brown sugar, seasonings and mix till dissolved. Add the Gouda cheese and slowly incorporate flour until it forms dough. Leave to rest for five minutes.Take a portion of the dough and wrap around a small cube of Gouda cheese or braised beef filling forming a tight ball with dough on all sides.Fry the ball till golden brown and set aside. Poke it with a lollipop stick and serve with chimichurri sauce.

About Steve Chiapetti:
A native of Chicago's south side, Chef Steve Chiappetti of Viand definitely has cooking in his blood. His family name is behind Chicago's oldest slaughter and packing house, Chiappetti Lamb and Veal, which after 51 years of business is the last remaining slaughterhouse in the Chicago Stockyards. Chiappetti's talent got him tapped to represent the U.S. in the Bocuse d'Or, one of Europe's most prestigious food competitions. In 1997, he was nominated for the James Beard Foundation's Rising Star Chef Award.

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