I have a not-so-secret love affair with saltine crackers. They are crunchy and salty and they are cheap. The only strike against them is that they're a little plain, but this actually works to their advantage! Saltines are a blank canvas — perfect for soaking up butter and warm spices, or as a vehicle for prosciutto, smoked salmon, or even sorbet.
I almost always have a sleeve on hand, for eating or for gussying up for guests. Here are seven ways to dress up my favorite cheap cracker.
Hot Buttered Saltines
This is my favorite saltine hack. Melt a stick of butter in a large mixing bowl and add 2 tablespoons of dry spices. You can use dry Ranch mix, taco seasoning, or your favorite combination of spices. Toss a sleeve of saltines in the flavored butter until they're coated and spread onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake at 350°F for about 12 minutes or until golden-brown.
Do you know that Southern classic of bacon-wrapped club crackers? That's where this idea, which substitutes prosciutto and saltines, comes from. Wrap each saltine in half a slice of prosciutto — a sleeve of saltines requires about four ounces of prosciutto. Bake at 300°F for about 40 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp.
Crème Fraîche and Smoked Salmon
Skip the bagel chips and use saltines as a vehicle for crème fraîche and smoked salmon. Top with finely snipped chives for extra-fancy flair. This is the perfect partner for bubbly wines and gin-based cocktails.
Toss a quarter-cup of olive oil with a quarter-cup of grated Parmesan cheese and one teaspoon garlic powder in a large bowl. Add a sleeve of saltines and toss to coat. Lay the saltines in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 300°F.
Radishes and Good Butter
Spread a European or fermented butter on saltines and top with thinly sliced radishes. You can substitute cream cheese, ricotta, or Boursin cheese for the butter, if you have those on hand. Pair with a chilled white wine on a cool spring night.
Remember this rule — anything you can do with matzo, you can do with saltines. Case in point: this brittle, which is little more than butter and brown sugar coated saltines topped with dark chocolate. This is best paired with bourbon-based drinks.
Saltine and Sorbet Sandwiches
Sandwich saltines with a fruit sorbet (lemon and raspberry are two of my favorites for this) and freeze. These mini sorbet sandwiches are the perfect pairing for sweet wines or cocktails.
Do you love Saltines, too? Tell us how you love them best.