Chef Alvin Schultz Shares his Cashew Roast Rack of Lamb with Curried Rutabaga

Chef Alvin Schultz from Houston, Texas, a private chef and one of 15 finalists in the 2011 season of the popular FOX TV MasterChef program, developed this Cashew Roast Rack of Lamb with Curried Rutabaga especially for Vitamix owners. “Vitamix removes restrictions from my cooking,” says Chef Schultz. “I never have to wonder if a particular ingredient will be smooth enough for a purée. I can just rest assured that Vitamix will deliver a silky smooth product – or any level of coarseness between – and enable me to execute my culinary vision.”

Chef Schultz transports us to India with this rack of lamb coated in a curry sauce and toasted cashews, then roasted and served with a silky raita (a cool, creamy yogurt-based Indian condiment often served to offset the spiciness of a curry) and pickled fruits reminiscent of Indian chutney. Although the recipe may look daunting at first glance, the Vitamix blender simplifies the sauce preparation and puts it well within the reach of the home cook.

Cashew roast rack of lamb with curried rutabaga, raita espuma, and pickled fruit

For the raita:
2 Cups Greek style yogurt
1/2 cucumber, peeled and seeded
3 green onions, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro
1g coriander seed, toasted
1g cumin seed, toasted

Purée in Vitamix until completely smooth, approximately 3 minutes. Pass through fine chinois [a very fine mesh strainer] transfer into iSi whipped cream siphon. Charge twice with N20.  If you prefer, omit the use of the whipped cream siphon and serve the puree as a sauce instead. Reserve in fridge.

For the pickled fruit:
6 diced apricots
4 medjool dates

Dice all dried fruit 1/8". Place in iSi whipped cream siphon and cover with rice wine vinegar. Charge once with N20, reserve. Or, place fruit in warmed rice wine vinegar to cover and reserve until needed.

For the curry:
3 whole cloves
1g cinnamon stick
7g coriander seed
10 cardamom pods- dehulled
5 dried Chile de arbol
9g poppy seeds
65g cashews

Toast all ingredients until aromatic. Place in a pressure cooker along with:

1 medium onion, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
9g fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
32g cilantro stems
1 Cup chicken stock

Pressure cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. If no pressure cooker is available, cook in a covered pan for about 45 minutes or until nuts are tender.
Transfer all ingredients into Vitamix blender and puree on high for two minutes or until completely smooth. Season to taste with kosher salt.

For the rutabaga purée:
1 large rutabaga, peeled and cut into 1" cubes.
curry puree (above). reserve 1/2 cup for lamb marinate.
4g baking soda
Salt to taste, about 1 TBS.

Pressure cook rutabaga curry, baking soda, salt, and water for 20 minutes at high pressure. [When queried about a substitute method, Alvin said this: “You would need to cook the rutabaga until tender (probably 35 minutes) but pressure cooking with the baking soda not only cooks the vegetable, it caramelizes it completely through, adding significant depth of flavor- traditional boiling would not be a close second but if I had to boil, I'd omit the baking soda and add the curry after the vegetable was cooked and strained.”] Puree in Vitamix until smooth. Season with kosher salt.

For the lamb:
1/2 Cup reserved curry puree
1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
1/2 cup cashews, crushed.
4 bone rack of lamb, frenched

Combine curry and yogurt. Coat lamb with yogurt mixture. Crust the top of the rack with crushed cashews. roast at 425ºF for about 25 minutes or until medium rare.

For plating:
Slice the rack of lamb into chops.
Place about 2 tablespoons of the rutabaga purée at 9 o'clock in the plate. With a small offset spatula, swipe the purée towards 3 o'clock.
Place a few thin slices of cucumber and some of the pickled fruit at 12 o'clock on the plate.
Criss cross two lamb chops in the center of the plate.
Place small amounts of the raita espuma at three, six, and nine o'clock.

Alvin Schultz is a private chef in Houston, Texas. Growing up in a Vietnamese/Polish household, he quickly developed a taste for flavors from around the world. Alvin marked his entry to the culinary world in 2011 when he appeared on the hit FOX TV show MasterChef, hosted by acclaimed chef Gordon Ramsay. On MasterChef, Alvin wowed judges Chef Graham Elliot and restaurateur Joe Bastianch with modern versions of classic comfort food and was named one of the top 15 cooks in America.

Alvin documents his culinary adventures at his website, EatDrinkEXPERIENCE.com.