Tonight on FOX Gordon Ramsay’s Masterchef continues with an all-new Wednesday, September 12, 2018, season 9 episode 20 & 21 called “Battle of the Beef – The Semi-Final,” and we have your weekly Masterchef recap below.
On tonight’s Masterchef episode as per the FOX synopsis, “The Top Five home cooks face a series of pressure-filled skills tests using an incredibly common protein—beef. The judges will decide which contestant will claim a safe spot on the balcony and who will face another culinary test. Then, the final four are split into two teams, and will need to cook one incredible entrée for the judges’ mentors, chefs Daniel Boulud, Jonathan Waxman and Lidia Bastianich.”
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The theme of tonight’s all-new episode of “Masterchef” was Beef! The contestants all learned that they were going to be cooking with beef. Their protein needed to be used in each round that the contestants found themselves cooking in and unfortunately there were three rounds in all. The judges had started out with five remaining home cooks and they hoped to end the night four, so none of the rounds were going to be easy. The first round was beef kebabs. It sounds like a simple dish but the meat on each kebab needed to be cooked to perfection and within the given time. Each of the contestants was given the same allotted time of thirty minutes and they were all advised to use that time wisely.
Unfortunately, not everyone was good at following directions. There were some like Bowen that tried to cook a kebab the same way he would cook anything else and what that means is that he tried to cook the meat over a high flame. It got his meat to cook however he had tried to season his garnish along with the meat and that affected the flavor. The judges later found his dish wanting because they hadn’t liked his combination or the way he cooked his way which showed. The next person that had been judged had been Samantha. She hadn’t added any of the peppers to her kebab and technically hadn’t even cooked the meat. It was cut opened and found to be still raw.
Gerron’s kebabs had been different. He had had the proper garnish and had taken the added step of putting jerk sauce on the kebabs in a way the judges liked. So that was a risk that actually paid off. The next person to be judged was Ashley. Ashley’s kebabs had looked beautiful though the judges had taken a piece and had found it to be nothing more than fat. The fat should have been trimmed off in the beginning and because that’s all the judges tasted – her dish wasn’t as perfect as it could have been. Now, the last person to be judged was Cesar. Cesar’s kebabs had been colorful and the taste had been there.
Cesar and Gerron were the only two who cooked perfect kebabs and so they received the advantages of winning the challenge. They both found themselves safe from elimination and from having to cook in the next round. The second round was also thirty minutes yet the dish the contestants need to perfect was meatballs. Meatballs needed to be well-seasoned as well as light and fluffy. They also needed to be cooked in the traditional aspect and again Bowen wanted to be different. He had rolled his meat in breadcrumbs which meant they hadn’t looked like meatballs and they sure weren’t going to taste like meatballs. Bowen had luckily figured that out eventually and so he ended up throwing his first batch of meatballs away.
Samantha also had some setbacks with this challenge. She had cooked her meatballs first on the stove and then for some reason she hadn’t finished them off in the tomato sauce like she was supposed. Samantha chose instead to put her pan in the oven and that left them at risk of being hard on the outside while being undercooked in the middle. The judges later asked Samantha about that and she said she had been hoping for more gentle touch. She thought that cooking them in the oven afterward would finish off the cook and she found out her meatballs had been wrong at two things. It had been raw in the middle and the parts the judges had tasted had been under seasoned.
Bowen’s cooked meatballs had had the flavor there if not the texture. He had been in such a rush to get his second batch of meatballs ready that he forgot to add the bread crumbs in the meatballs and so that’s why it hadn’t come out as either light or fluffy. But Ashley had also made mistakes. She hadn’t had enough time herself because she left everything to the last minute. It was proving to be a problem for her to start cooking when she was supposed and so she hadn’t had enough marinara sauce to go with her meatballs. There had only been a light sauce thrown in and it hadn’t been seasoned as well as the judges would have liked.
Only the judges believed that Ashley had at least gotten the meatballs right and so they named her as the winner of the second round. As part of her advantages, she was deemed safe from elimination and she didn’t need to cook in the dreaded third round. The last round was filet mignon. The remaining two contestants had to cook three different fillet mignons and three different temperatures. The judges were asking for a well-done, a medium, and a rare. The judges had decided on this challenge because it was a mark of a great cook if the contestants were able to get all three right.
The steaks needed to be well-seasoned, moist, cooked properly. In this challenge, both of the remaining contestants doubted themselves and made mistakes in the kitchen. There had been Samantha who had put her steak back into the oven and then there had been Bowen who had put his steak back on the stove. So the main problem was that they each doubted themselves at the worst possible moment. The judges later cut into each steak and they found a mix. Samantha had gotten the right cook on her well-done, her medium was more medium rare, and the rare had been cooked beautifully. Bowen’s steaks were cooked under for the well-done, medium well for the medium, and his rare had been perfect. And so Samantha won the third round.
Her cook had just been a little more on point and so sadly Bowen was eliminated, but there was still one more person that needed to be eliminated on tonight’s two-hour episode of “MasterChef”.
There were even more challenges during the second half and the first challenge was a Team Challenge. The remaining contestants were split into teams of two and they received added help. They were mentored by the same people that once mentored the judges. There was Jonathan Waxman who once mentor to Chef Sanchez and there was Daniel Boulud yet Joe Bastianich chose a mentor that was special to his heart. He chose his mother Lidia Bastianich who was a successful restaurateur in her own right and she proved to be very helpful. The two teams that went up against each other was Cesar with Ashley and Samantha with Gerron. Gerron ended up taking the lead on his team meanwhile Cesar and Ashley both took turns.
Both teams were allowed to cook whatever they wanted and, after a short time figuring out what that would be, they hit the pantry. The contestants had been fine after that though there were a few problems that cropped up in the kitchen. There was the downside to Gerron and Samantha’s because Samantha did what she often tends. She became overwhelmed like and in this case, she was rushing about so much that she fell and hurt herself. Samantha was able to get back up only she had to move a little slower after that and so she fell back on Gerron. Gerron had pretty much-decided everything. He came up with what they were supposed to cook and he kept Samantha on track until they were able to work cohesively as a team.
Cesar and Ashley differed because they had started out as strong and then as time went on communication broke down. They forgot to talk to each other and had to be reminded by the same judges that weren’t supposed to interfere. Despite that, they still delivered a beautiful looking dish. They came up with a Grilled Pork Chop with Swiss Chard, Corn-Mango Salsa, and Tostones and the flavors had all been there. There had been some spice and some sweetness with the salsa. And the cook on the pork chop had been perfect and so they perfectly executed the hardest part of their dish.
The judges had loved the pork chop and as it turns out they also loved what Gerron and Samantha created. The other team cooked a Lamb Chop with Rhubarb-Blood Orange Glaze, Ratatouille, and Swiss Chard. The flavors and the seasoning had been on point. So it had been a hard choice for the judges. The guest judges were the ones that got to make the decision and they ultimately felt that Cesar and Ashley’s dish had just been a little stronger. And that meant the two were also safe from elimination. Except Gerron and Samantha weren’t so lucky and so they found out they had to cook in one of the hardest Elimination Challenges they had ever faced. They had to cook three separate dishes for the judges.
The judges had all asked for something different and it all amounted to a three-course meal. Joe Bastianich had chosen the Spring Risotto as the appetizer, Chef Sanchez had chosen the Pan-Seared Salmon as his main dish, and Chef Ramsay chose his famous Sticky Toffee Pudding as the desert. All three dishes were difficult to execute and so each demanded some time. It’s just the contestants only had ninety minutes. They had to use their time wisely and each had made mistakes. Gerron had been all over the place. He was running back and forth, so a judge had stepped in and told him that things would go better for him if he focused on one thing at a time. Giving himself some breathing room had allowed him to look at the bigger picture and he had handed out all three dishes.
Samantha’s approach had actually been to focus on one thing at a time and she started off as a strong contender however she realized she had made a mistake. She had forgotten an ingredient in the Toffee Pudding and had to try to self-correct only it was too late by then. Even the judges had realized it was too late to correct and so everyone knew that her Toffee Pudding wouldn’t be as perfect. But then again, no one’s dish was perfect. The risottos had been split with one cooked a little under and one cooked a little over. Then there had come the main dish. Samantha had been a little stronger on the Salmon. Hers had been cooked to perfection and had still been pink when the judges cut into it.
Therefore, it all came down to the Toffee Pudding. Samantha’s had made several mistakes with hers and so her Toffee Pudding hadn’t had any sauce or proper mousse while Gerron had had both. His Toffee Pudding was what put him on top and so Samantha was the second person eliminated on tonight’s episode.
Samantha said she was going to use the time to go to Culinary School and Chef Ramsay agreed to pay her way.