Get Your Labor Day Sizzlin' With This Special "Masterchef" Judges Labor Day Menu

by Cindi SutterFounder of The Spirited Table® - 




Just in case you missed it! LAST NIGHT ON FOX



APPETIZER: Kevin Sbraga’s Smoked Pork Sliders


BBQ Sauce
½ cup ketchup
4 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/3  cup water
1 ½ Tbsp. yellow mustard
2 tsp molasses
1 Tbsp. white distilled vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Crispy Shallots
2 shallots, shaved thin
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp onion powder


For Brine

  1. Combine water, 1 Tbsp. salt, sugar, and 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  2. For smoked pork, using a meat injector, inject pork with ¼ cup cooled brine and season with 2 Tbsp. salt. Place in a covered container and refrigerate, allowing to cure overnight or for at least two hours. If smoker is available, preheat to 250 F. Smoke pork for about 4 hours, using a blend of apple wood chips and hickory wood chips. Place a pan under meat to catch any drippings. After smoking, allow pork to cook at 250 F until internal temperature Is 204 F. Use a digital thermometer to determine internal temperature, as different ovens and smoker cook at different rates and timing may vary.
  3. If smoker is unavailable, preheat oven to 250 F and place pork in an oven-friendly container. Cover with foil and cook for about 6-8 hours or until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 204 F. Remove and allow to cool at room temperature for 20 minutes. Once cooled, use two forks to pull the meat apart into a large mixing bowl. Add the tbsp. of apple cider vinegar to the meat along with 2 tbsp. of drippings and mix well.
  4. Warm meat up in a small pot for immediate use or allow to cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

BBQ Sauce

  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepot and bring to a gentle simmer. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes and remove from heat. Keep warm for immediate use or reserve for later by allowing to cool and storing in an airtight container for up to four days.

For Crispy Shallots

  1. Mix dry ingredients together, making sure there are lumps of spices. If fryer is available, preheat to 300 F. If fryer is unavailable, fill a medium-sized sauce pot filled halfway with canola oil. Heat oil to 300 F. Toss shallots in the seasoned flour and make sure they are coated well. 
  2. Shake off any excess flour from the shallots. Fry a small amount of shallots at a time, until they are golden brown, remove for the oil and place on a plate lined with paper towels.
  3. To assemble, cut slider buns in half. Place 2 Tbsp. of hot pulled pork on the bun along with ½ Tbsp. of BBQ sauce. Finish with a few fried shallots on top and place top half of bun on top of slider before serving.

ENTREE: Gordon Ramsay’s Jerk Chicken


4 large chicken legs, skin on, cut into drumsticks and thighs and scored
Olive oil, for frying
2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
Rice, to serve
4-5 thyme sprigs, to garnish (optional)
For the Marinade
1-2 scotch bonnet chilies, deseeded and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
2 tsp. ground allspice
5-7 thyme sprigs, leaves only (you will need about 2 Tbsp.)
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil    


  1. Preheat the oven at 428F/ gas 7
  2. First prepare the marinade by combining all the ingredients with a good grinding of black pepper and a dash of oil. Rub the marinade into the chicken pieces, massaging it into the scored meat. Leave the marinade for at least 1 hour (or, better still, overnight).
  3. Heat a large ovenproof pan over a medium-high heat and add a dash of oil. Fry the chicken pieces for about 10 minutes until golden brown on all sides. Add the Worcestershire sauce and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Cover with an ovenproof lid or foil and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes until cooked through (if your pan isn’t ovenproof, simply transfer the chicken to a roasting tray). Remove the foil for the last 5 minutes if the chicken needs coloring a little more. 
  5. Serve the chicken hot with rice.

DESSERT: Christina Tosi’s Corn Cookie Ice Cream Pie


Ice Cream Pie
3 corn cookies (See recipe below)
2 pints strawberry ice cream, left out of the freezer for a few minutes
Corn Cookies
225 g butter, at room temperature (16 tbs, 2 sticks)
100 g sugar (1 1/2 cups) 
1 egg
225 g flour (1 1/3 cups) 
45 g corn flour (1/4 cup) 
65 g freeze-dried corn powder (2/3 cup)
3 g baking powder (3/4 teaspoon)
1.5 g baking soda (1/4 teaspoon)
6 g kosher salt (1 1/2 teaspoons)


Ice Cream Pie

  1. Put the cookies in a mixing bowl, and start mushing them up with your hands. Make sure you don’t have any big crunchy edges left, break all of that down. You should be able to squeeze the crumbled cookies back into a ball that looks like uncooked cookie dough. If not, melt a little butter and drizzle it in with the crumbs and a pinch of salt to keep the flavor balanced.
  2. Use your palm and fingers to press the broken cookies into the bottom and sides of a standard ten-inch pie tin. Start from the center, and move your way out. You’re trying to get as even of a crust as possible.
  3. When the ice cream has become really spreadable and pliable, spoon it into the crust. Pat down the ice cream with the back of the spoon. I like to have the ice cream peak up at the center, so it looks like a meringue pie when you slice it. Freeze, or serve immediately before the ice cream melts any more.

Corn Cookies

  1. Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream together on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, corn flour, corn powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Using a 2 ¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature – they will not bake properly.
  4. Heat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apartment on parchment-or-Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute if not.
  6. Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.


The seven remaining cooks compete in their next Mystery Box Challenge using three basic utensils to prepare two dishes. The contestants are paired up and go head-to-head in the elimination challenge to create a picnic platter. Then, the six remaining contestants compete in the series’ classic pop-up restaurant challenge. Find out which contestants get eliminated in the all-new two-hour “Tag Team/Pop-Up Restaurant” episode of MASTERCHEF that was aired Wednesday, Aug. 31 (8:00-10:00 ET/PT) on FOX.




JUDGES: Gordon Ramsay - @GordonRamsay

Christina Tosi - @ChristinaTosi

GUEST JUDGE: Kevin Sbraga - @KSbraga