Butter-fried Saltines

..or “heart attack crackers” if you prefer. They go by several names; “ice water crackers” being the most recognizable.

If I ever had a party that warranted canapés, I’d make them with these. So salty… so buttery… so abnormally heavy for a cracker. True, that last one is due to the cracker being infused with (alright, drenched in) butter, but eat one and tell me that the immediate chest pain wasn’t worth it. I think the most similar taste would have to be movie theater popcorn. You know… the kind you can feel leaking out of your pores by the end of the show.

Next time you see a packet of saltines, grab it. In fact, hoard them with the intention of someday making these sinfully tasty treats. They can be obtained at salad bars, or with soup at any restaurant (always ask for extra… nobody will judge you for being a “table scrap pilfering grab-ass“). There is always the option of paying that precious $1.50 for a huge box of them at the store if you can’t find any free ones.

Butter-fried Saltines

5-10 pats/packets of butter or margarine (you’ll need more if using whipped/aerated  “buttery spread)

6-10 saltines

  • Melt butter or margarine in a pan at medium-high heat
  • Soak crackers in ice water for a few seconds to soften them
  • Place crackers in the pan and fry until golden. If you let the butter burn even slightly, your crackers will taste like crap.
  • Once golden, transfer crackers to a baking sheet and toast at 400 for 7-10 minutes. This step is solely to remove extra moisture, so keep a close watch and take them out once they start to brown or the edges lift.

Alternate method:

  • Melt butter/margarine in a small bowl
  • Soak crackers in ice water for a few seconds to soften them
  • Place wet crackers on a baking sheet
  • With a pastry brush, generously (and gently) baste the crackers with melted butter
  • Stick the tray in the oven for 10 minutes at 400, then turn heat down to 300 for another 10-15 minutes

Before toasting, you can season them with all sorts of  packeted goodies. Crushed red pepper, black pepper, salt (for the true nutritional masochist), grated parmesan, or any of the house seasoning mixes that chain pizza joints have.

Let them cool on a paper towel to avoid sogginess.

The result is a buttery, slightly flaky treat that tastes great with all kinds of toppings. My personal favorites are tomato/basil/mayo, strawberry cream cheese (1 packet strawberry jelly mixed with 2 packets of cream cheese), and egg salad.

Most of  the batch I made to photograph didn’t survive the morning, but a lone cracker defied the vacuum of my porcine maw and allowed itself to be captured on film.

Yep, that's grass. Nothing in my kitchen is green this week except things that aren't supposed to be.

oh… and a big ol’ shehekianu to me for using a real camera for this one instead of being lazy and cameraphoneing it.