About Texas Nut Shellers

Nutty and buttery Pecan-Crusted Chicken and Tortellini with Herbed Butter Sauce is your winning solution to getting dinner on the table in 30 minutes.


  • 2 (9-ounce) packages refrigerated cheese-filled tortellini
  • 4 (4-ounce) chicken breast cutlets
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded Parmesan cheese


  1. Prepare tortellini according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place pecans in a shallow bowl. Place egg in a second bowl. Dip chicken in egg mixture, allowing excess to drip off. Dredge chicken in pecans, pressing firmly to adhere.
  3. Cook chicken in hot oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from skillet; wipe skillet clean.
  4. Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add garlic, and sauté 5 to 7 minutes or until garlic is caramel-colored and butter begins to turn golden brown. Immediately remove from heat, and stir in basil, parsley, and hot cooked tortellini. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately with chicken.

The flax seed meal adds nuttiness, crunch, and even more nutrition.


  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • About 1 1/2 tablespoons roasted pecan oil* or other nut oil, divided
  • 1/2 cup steel-cut oatmeal, such as McCann’s Irish
  • 2 tablespoons flax seed meal*
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe (brown-flecked) bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • About 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted pecans


  1. Boil 2 1/2 cups water in a saucepan. Stir in salt and 1/2 tbsp. oil, then oats. Cook, stirring, until oats start to thicken and look creamy, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until oats are thick and very creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in flax seed meal.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add bananas and cook until translucent at edges, about 3 minutes. Flip with a spatula, drizzle with 1 tbsp. honey, and cook until soft and lightly browned, about 1 minute more.
  3. Stir 1/2 tbsp. honey into oatmeal. Pour into 2 bowls; stir in more oil and some nuts. Top with bananas and more pecans.

*Find nut oil and flax seed meal at natural-foods and well-stocked grocery stores.




  • 2 cups pecan halves
  • ½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 6 Tablespoons dark corn syrup


  1. Stir together pecan halves, brown sugar, and dark corn syrup in a small bowl.
  2. Spread mixture in a lightly greased aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan.
  3. Bake at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes or until glaze thickens, stirring every 4 minutes.
  4. Spread in a single layer on wax paper; cool completely, separating pecans as they cool. (For the prettiest garnish, leave some in clusters.)
  5. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Yield: Makes about 2 cups.

This strawberry sauce is served with our Pecan Torte. It has about a million uses, and is so much better than that jar of Smucker’s Strawberry Sauce that you’ve had sitting in your fridge since that time you made banana splits three years ago.


  • 2 cups frozen strawberries
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar


  1. Combine strawberries, sugar and Balsamic vinegar in food processor or blender.
  2. Process until mixture is smooth and creamy.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Homemade Nut Butter
Come autumn, the harvest of almonds, pecans, and hazelnuts begins in earnest. Turning them into your own homemade nut butter not only makes storing easy, but also transforms an everyday snack into a rich, spreadable butter. A blender produces the smoothest results, but only a heavy-duty one is up to the task. As an alternative, use a food processor; the butter will just be a bit coarser.


  • 2 cups untoasted pecans
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1-1/2 to 4 Tablespoons canola, vegetable, or other neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  1. Put the nuts in a heavy-duty blender or a food processor and pulse until roughly chopped.
  2. Add the salt and purée until the nuts become fairly smooth, adding only enough oil to help the nuts break down.
  3. Add the honey and pulse to mix.
  4. Transfer the nut butter to a sterile jar and store in a cool, dry place or the refrigerator.

Make Ahead Tips

The nut butter will keep at cool room temperature for up to 2 months, or in the refrigerator for 6 to 9 months.


Chunky Nut Butter: Coarsely chop 1/4 cup of the nuts. Make nut butter with the remaining nuts, and then stir in the chopped nuts by hand.

Flavors: You can adjust the flavor notes even more by adding additional honey, salt, maple syrup, cinnamon, or vanilla.

Serving Suggestions

Nut butter is delicious any time of day, for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert. Here are a few tasty ways to use yours up:

  • Make banana and nut butter sandwiches.
  • Top a bowl of oatmeal with a spoonful of any nut butter.
  • Toss lo mein noodles with almond butter, soy sauce, sautéed snow peas, carrots, and scallions.
  • Dollop cooked green beans with hazelnut butter.
  • Swirl any nut butter into vanilla ice cream.
  • Spread pecan butter between two shortbread cookies.
  • Blend hazelnut or almond butter into smoothies.