I had the pleasure of eating some of these Cajun Crackers at a Chili cook-off at my old workplace. I was at first unimpressed with the way they looked, but I certainly became a fan after eating a couple. They are even good as a snack, in fact I probably ate a dozen when I got home. Here is the recipe, exactly as written by the lady who made them. I haven't made any myself yet, but I'm planning on a big pot of He-Man Beef Stew this weekend as per my recipe, which is in the Cookbook, and if I intend to have a batch on hand.
2 sleeves of saltine crackers (or 1 box of the mini saltine crackers)
1/2 - 2/3 cup canola oil * (I prefer Safflower oil & I use just a little over ˝ cup)
1/2 pkg ranch dressing (powder)** (or about 1 ˝ Tablespoons)
1 Tablespoon of crushed red pepper (or to taste – use less if you want milder crackers)
Optional: Ground red pepper, just a pinch or a quick shake from the bottle - to taste
(Original recipe didn’t call for this, but I sometimes add it for a little more spice)
Mix canola oil, ranch dressing mix and crushed red peppers together in a jar or other measuring cup/container.
(I add just a sprinkle of ground red pepper to the mixture just for added spiciness if I know someone who likes them spicier than normal) Let the oil, ranch dressing, and crushed red peppers sit for a while in the measuring cup, stir occasionally. The peppers should soak up some of the oil and stick to the crackers better. This will also give the flavors time to blend.
Put crackers in a large (gallon size will work) zip lock bag (or another container) and pour the mixture over the crackers and shake gently until all coated. (I pour part of the mixture on the crackers and shake gently and then add the remaining mixture and shake again). Periodically I turn the bag over and shake the crackers around to coat them with the flavored mixture. The bag will get really oily and yucky, so you will not want to store the crackers in this bag.
I generally leave the crackers in the bag overnight. However, you may pour the crackers out on a cookie sheet or parchment paper or another container so you can see that all crackers have some of the flavorings on them. Place in a clean zip lock baggie (or other storage container) to keep them fresh.
* Use canola or vegetable oil – I understand that while virgin olive oil may be healthier, it is too heavy for the mixture on the crackers. Safflower Oil seems to make the crackers lighter in oil so that is a good alternative too.
** I buy the powdered dressing mix in a plastic jar/container. I believe ˝ package of dressing mix is the same as 1 ˝ TBSP of powder from the jar/container.
***Another variation is to cut back on the ranch dressing and add some garlic powder to the oil mixture.