Cajun Recipes: Firecrackers Party Food
Most people really enjoy party food. In fact, tasty party foods are often a big part of any get-together. I’ve hosted hundreds of parties over the years, and I always enjoy this activity immensely. I think one reason for this is because I always include a lot of easy party food, so I’m not all stressed out before the event even gets started. Don’t get me wrong – I always include some more complicated dishes, too, but easy party food items are great for “filling in the gaps.” Just recently, I got some easy party food ideas from my best pal, and one of them was for a neat recipe for spicy crackers, called “firecrackers.” Of course, I had to do some experimenting on my own, so I created Cajun firecrackers with seasonings usually associated with Cajun recipes. If you’re searching for easy party food ideas, give this one a try!
My family members are all die-hard southerners, and we love Cajun recipes. Even most of the grandkids like hot, spicy foods, and they loved the firecrackers I made for our Memorial Day cookout. I often use Cajun recipes for meals, but they work just as well for party foods. Some of our favorite Cajun meals include red beans and rice with sausage, jambalaya, and shrimp etouffee. Some of our favorite party foods with a Cajun flair include beignets, steamed crawfish, spicy shrimp, and crab claws.
Most Cajun recipes are highly seasoned, and many are downright hot. Popular Cajun seasonings include cayenne, red pepper flakes, onion, garlic, oregano, paprika, black pepper, basil, and thyme. You’ll see that I used all of these except for thyme in these crackers. If you want, add a little dried thyme to your recipe. Also, if you think these crackers will be too hot for you, your family, or guests, reduce the amount of cayenne and red pepper flakes.
Easy Party Food Ideas
Easy party food ideas will give you the chance to relax and actually enjoy your event. Whenever I host a party, I like to use as many make-ahead party foods as I can. This gives me more time to spend on decorations, more complicated party food, and last-minute details. Once my guests arrive, I’m ready to have fun!
There are all kinds of easy party food ideas you can incorporate, depending on the type of shindig you’re throwing and when the event takes place. For example, in the colder months, you might prefer serving some warm foods like hot spreads or dips, meatballs, or wings. In the summer months, I like to serve a lot of cold foods, and I also take advantage of fresh locally grown fruits and produce.
Easy party food ideas can also include pre-made or pre-cooked items from delis. Even frozen foods from the grocery store can work nicely, especially with some tweaking and imagination on your part. Some examples are frozen phyllo cups that can be filled with fruits, custard, cheesecake filling, or chicken salad. Another is frozen cream puffs. I like to drizzle them with melted chocolate before serving.
Party Finger Foods
Party finger foods are always a good idea for just about any event. Even if you’re serving a buffet meal or a sit-down dinner, party finger foods can serve as appetizers. Since knives, forks, and spoons aren’t required, your guests can mix and mingle while munching on easy-to-eat nibbles. They won’t have to worry about trying to balance a plate on their laps while using cutlery, either.
Party finger foods should be small, and it’s best if they’re not too messy. Guest should be able to pick them up easily and be able to enjoy them as they walk around. Crackers and spreads, small sandwiches, nuts, cookies, berries, chicken wings, petit fours, boiled shrimp, and chicken nuggets are all good examples of party finger foods.
4th of July Party
These crackers would be perfect for a 4th of July party! A lot of folks have cookouts or picnics for the holiday, and the firecrackers would fit well into either type of event. They’d be great for picnics because they’re so portable. They’d also be perfect for munching on at a cookout while guests are awaiting the grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, BBQ chicken, or ribs.
For our 4th of July party, cookouts are always in play. I make as many of my side dishes as I can the day before, along with a few party finger foods. I usually serve my party finger foods indoors, where it’s air conditioned. Coming in for a couple of snacks gives the guests a break from the hot, humid southern weather before they head outdoors again to hang around the grill or take a dip in the pool. And really – what better party food to serve at a 4th of July party than something called firecrackers?
If you like Cajun recipes and party food, these crackers are a perfect marriage. They’re hot and savory, and they’re very addictive. Firecracker are great with cheeses, especially mild, creamy cheeses like mozzarella, provolone, and mild cheddar. Actually, I like them with pepper jack cheese, too. Try them with cream cheese spreads, cheese balls, and dips. For a real treat, serve the firecrackers with a shrimp, crawfish, or crab spread.
As far as easy party food ideas go, firecrackers are a real winner. They don’t require any cooking at all, which is a big plus. You’ll be surprised at how this recipe works. I thought for sure the crackers would be soggy after adding so much oil, but they weren’t. They turn out crispy, believe it or not. And if you turn the bags often enough, each saltine will get a nice coating of the seasonings. This is a super easy party food!
By the way, you can make this entire recipe in just one big bag, but it works better if you divide the crackers and seasoned oil into two bags. I’ve tried it both ways, and while both methods worked, the seasonings were more evenly distributed with the two-bag method.
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- 1 box multigrain saltine crackers
- 1 1/2 cups oil
- 2 packs dry ranch dressing mix, (one ounce size)
- 3 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 teaspoon cayenne
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- Place two sleeves of saltines in a one-gallon Ziploc food bag. Place the other two sleeves in another one-gallon Ziploc. Place each bag inside another gallon bag to prevent leaking.
- Use two mixing bowls to divide the remaining ingredients. Into each bowl, add ¾ cup oil, 1 envelope ranch dressing mix, 1 ½ tablespoons red pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon Cajun seasoning, ½ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ teaspoon onion powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ½ teaspoon dried parsley, ½ teaspoon cayenne, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon dried oregano, and ¼ teaspoon dried basil. Whisk to combine well.
- Pour the contents of one bowl over one bag of crackers. Do the same with the other oil mixture and the other bag of crackers. Seal all bags and gently shake.
- Every couple of hours, shake the bags again and reposition. The firecrackers will be ready to eat as soon as the oil is absorbed, but they’re much better the next day.