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Central Standard

Food Critics: The 'Nuttiest' Dishes In Kansas City


Nuts — they are in so many dishes, but they are hardly ever the star of the show. Without them so many of our favorite dishes would fall flat, but when we talk about food they rarely get their due recognition.

This week, Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Jen Chen and Mary Bloch give nuts their moment in the spotlight and pick out the 'nuttiest' dishes available in and around the Kansas City area.

Here are the Critics' favorite 'nutty' dishes:

  • Chicken mole (made with almonds) - Frieda's, 7200 W 121 St., Overland Park, Kan.
  • Chicken mole - Poco's, 3063 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Chicken mole - El Patron, 2905 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Chocolate almonds - Andre's, 5018 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Royal almond chicken - Malay Cafe, 6003 NW Barry Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Orchard bread - Fervere Bakery, 1702 Summit, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Nut cheeses and Mexican dishes - Füd, 813 W. 17th St., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts - Pizzabella, multiple locations
  • Encrusted trout - Affäre, 1911 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Carmel apple float - One More Cup, 7408 Wornall Rd., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Pecan roll - Stuckey's, not available in Missouri, one in Paxico, Kan.
  • Pad Thai (pad Thai Tuesday) - Thai Place, 4130 Pennsylvania Ave., Kansas City, Mo.
  • Pad Thai - Thai Orchid, 6504 Martway St., Shawnee Mission, Kan.
  • Black walnut ice cream - Dips And Sips, 5735 Johnson Dr., Mission, Kan.
  • Pistachio encrusted fish - Bristol, 51 E. 14th St., Kansas City, Mo.

Listener suggestions:

  • Black walnut creme pie - Smith's, multiple locations in Boliver and Collins, Mo.
  • Black walnut creme pie - Osceola Cheese, 3700 NE Hwy 13, Osceola, Mo.
  • Belfonte black walnut ice cream (available at Price Chopper)
  • Black walnut ice cream - Iwig's Family Dairy, 622 N. 2nd St., Lawrence, Kan.

Recipes from pastry chef Natasha Bailey:

They're comforting in the wintertime. This recipe serves about 8 people.

5 tbsp. unsalted butter
2 1/2 cups pecan halves
5 tbsp. granulated sugar

Melt the butter over medium-high heat and add the pecans. Toss and coat pecan-halves in butter completely. Add sugar to the pan and stop tossing to avoid spattering hot sugar. Let the sugar sit to warm and caramelize. When the sugar has caramelized, turn off heat and toss the pecans one last time. Spread the coated pecans on parchment paper and let them cool down. If greater crispiness or dryness is desired, put them in the oven for a few minutes at 350 degrees.

Consider adding your own flourishes; spices like nutmeg and cinnamon are popular, or to add a savory touch, add salt and pepper with a little cumin and cayenne pepper. You could even add bacon. 


At Thanksgiving, which is fast-approaching, vegetarian and vegan guests need an alternate gravy to fully participate in the Thanksgiving experience. This recipe is also great over biscuits at breakfast-time. 

1/2 cup almond butter
1/2 cup almond milk or hemp milk
2 tsp. tamari
4 tbsp. flour, preferably garbanzo bean flour but any flour will do
2 1/2 tsp onion or onion powder
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. rubbed sage for savory note
1 1/2 to 2 cups water (depending on desired thickness)
salt and pepper to taste

Mix the almond butter, almond milk, tamari, flour and spices in a pan and bring the mixture to a medium-high heat while gradually adding water and whisking. It is important to be adding water and whisking at the same time to achieve the right consistency. Bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper. Enjoy!


Central Standard Food & DrinkBest Food KC
A California native, Briana comes to KCUR by way of KMUW in Wichita, Kan. and KUSP in Santa Cruz, Calif.