I enjoy having snacks on hand for nibbling around the holidays. The hectic days, especially as we get closer to the end of the year, encourage more snacking and less regular meals as our schedules get busy with parties and entertaining. Not to say that all snacking is healthier. It just happens.
As with many older recipes, this one for Oyster Cracker Snacks is a bit quirky. Remember the impossible pies made with Bisquick? You mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl, pour the mixture into a pie pan or baking dish, and Voilà!, you have a pie (of sorts) with custard on the top and a crust that’s miraculously formed below.
This recipe is another one of those unusual things and you have to wonder how someone ever came up with it in the first place, but, it works and it’s tasty. In fact, I used to be addicted to these highly seasoned little morsels many years ago. I’d make them around the holidays and keep a stash on hand for guests and and store a bag or two away for me. I’d pop a few while sipping wine and cooking the holiday meals. Did I mention they’re quite good with wine and beer?! 😉
The recipe couldn’t be any easier to make. The only ingredients required are a package of oyster crackers, Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing, vegetable oil, garlic salt, dried dill, and for you to stir for a total 2 hours, at 15 minute intervals. I said it was quirky, but the method works. You combine the oil with the packaged dressing mix, salt, and dill. Add in the crackers and stir, stir, stir until the crackers have absorbed the oily mixture. When purchasing the oyster crackers, you may need to buy two bags to get a full 12 ounces (you’ll have leftovers for soup or chowder). Many packages today weigh in at 9 ounces, so check the weight of the package when at the store.
I suggest using less garlic salt than the recipe calls for, which is 1 teaspoon. Start with 1/4 teaspoon as the packaged dressing already has enough sodium and “seasoning” to add plenty of salt and then add the dill to taste. Not everyone is a fan of dill and it can become overpowering quickly. You can always add additional garlic salt and dill at the end since the crackers will still absorb more seasoning while they’re still moist.
The crackers will dry over time and have a salty-like seasoned coating that reminds me of some of the packaged snacks you can purchase. If you’ve never made these before, give them a try. Surprise your guests this holiday season with a blast from the past!
- 1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Salad Dressing (not the dip mix)
- ¾ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt, to taste (I start with ¼ teaspoon)
- Dried dill weed, to taste (I start with ⅛ teaspoon)
- 12 ounce package oyster crackers
- In a large non-reactive bow, whisk together the salad dressing mix, oil, and seasonings. Add in the package of oyster crackers and stir well, tossing them to coat thoroughly. Set the timer for 15 minutes.
- Once the 15 minutes is up, stir the oyster crackers well again. Set the timer for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process for a total of 2 hours.
- Once the crackers are "done," transfer them to a container with a tight fitting lid. Crackers are best when used in several days, but will hold for a week if tightly sealed.