Friday, October 21, 2011

AMH Cooks: Alabama Fire Crackers

       Sooooooo being raised down South I tend to get homesick every once in a while...especially at this time of year because it's SEC time. Which, for those of you that don't know....that means college
football. That is a really big deal in Alabama and the other parts of the south too, but of course I'm biased to my home state and my home football team of Auburn. When I feel homesick I tend to think about anything that reminds me of back home. Of course some would say, "Well you aren't Southern anymore've lived in Connecticut longer than you lived in Alabama."'s true I have lived in Connecticut for 22 years now and only in Alabama for the first 14 years of my life...but what non-Southerners don't know and can't ever really understand is that being Southern isn't just an's part of our DNA. It never leaves us....we are a part of that land as much as the red clay that forms it. Of course I love my New England home too (minus the politics) and all of my friends and family here, but my antebellum roots are always there and I want to share as much of them with you as I can.
Now I have all kinds of Southern recipes from my family and from my time down there,.....but  this is not one of them....LOL. This recipe I actually found a little over a year ago and was initially drawn to it because it's named after Alabama. HOWEVER, once you try these simple little crackers you may never want to go without them again. They are AMAZING!  So, enjoy and let me know what you think. They are a great game time snack that is super easy and super inexpensive to make. I also included some alternative uses for them at the bottom.
  Alabama Fire Crackers

1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 (1 ounce) envelopes ranch dressing mix
1 (1 ounce) envelopes Italian dressing mix
3 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 (16.5 ounce) box Nabisco unsalted saltine crackers

Whisk all ingredients (EXCEPT THE CRACKERS) together until thoroughly mixed then pour into a 2-gallon plastic zipper bag. Place the crackers into the bag, seal, and gently turn the bag over to cover all the crackers with the spice mix. Let the bag sit for about 1 hour, then gently turn again. Repeat several more times until the crackers are well-coated with spice mix, then allow the bag to sit overnight. In the morning, remove crackers and serve. *Note: If you feel they are a bit too oily for your taste then you can spread them onto a cookie sheet and let them dry in a 200 degree oven for about 20 to 30 minutes.

They are great for snacking on by themselves or along with soups, chili, salad, even tuna and chicken salad. If you can't or don't want to use them all as crackers to munch on you can also crush them and use them for breading on pork chops, chicken or fish.You can use them like you would regular crackers in meatloaf or meatballs. You can also use them to make a crust for a meat pie or for add ins to casseroles like broccoli casserole. The possibilities are endless really because you can also use different kinds of crackers. Try it with Wheat Thins, Triscuits, Goldfish, Oyster crackers....Club crackers or Ritz...get creative!

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