Starship Supper … awful… wonderful…

There is a reader here who really liked the 1997 movie Starship Troopers.

It was incredibly loosely based on the Heinlein novel we oooolllld people read when we were kids.  And when I say loose, I mean loose.

There is now a sequel to this really bad but engaging flick.   It’s reallllllly bad.  So bad, it’s good.  It even ridicules prayer!  I feel persecuted.  And the women are tougher than the men.

Why are women in flicks now always tougher and better killers than men?

In the meantime I had supper.

Since people were complaining, and since I am within the penumbra of my anniversary, I did a little more.

Pre-Supper, a couple ounces of JWBlack on ice.  I would rather have had a Lagavulin 16.

First, on-sale-Brussels-sprouts.


Then, I whipped up some Bearnaise, though I had to use dried Tarragon from the fall.  It was still aromatic and inspiring.


Then, I pulled from the oven the pork loin I started a couple days ago and which I marinated in serious peppercorns and ranch dressing.



I made Freedom Fries… crispy.


Roast loin of pork, marinaded in ranch dressing and peppercorns, steamed Brussels sprouts, crispy Freedom Fries, Bearnaise sauce.

With a great S. American Trappiche Bonarda.

This was good, even if I say so myself.

Dessert?  None.

I’ve been eating little more than sandwiches and salad and soup for a while.  I lost my interest in cooking.  Trying to get it back.  Spring helps.

This pork loin, friends, was so good… the Bearnaise was so good… I was tempted to cut it like potato chips and eat the sauce like dip.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    Do any of you Irish-Americans recall being told as a child that we eat corned beef and cabbage, and when circumstances improve, move up to corned beef and Brussel sprouts?

  2. fieldsparrow says:

    Oh, that looks good. Thanks for sharing! I’ve been in a bit of a non-cooking rut lately, so I am glad for some inspiring posts to get back in the kitchen.

  3. EWTN Rocks says:

    Oh my, that looks delicious…sure puts my yogurt and Slimfast bar to shame!

  4. APX says:

    It looks delicious, and brussel sprouts are probably one of the greatest vegetables to grace the earth. I didn’t realize the US still calls French Fries, “Freedom Fries”.

  5. APX: In honor of DSK.


  6. APX says:

    Forgive me, I’m Canadian. I don’t have a clue about DSK.

  7. I didn’t think you could eat pork rare. I was always taught that rare pork led to botulism.

  8. MissOH says:

    I was wondering about the rare pork thing also.
    I love brussel sprouts. I never knew they grew on a stalk until I moved here and found you can buy them on the stalk at the grocery store. Steamed is always good and in the winter sauted with baccon. Yum!

  9. Clinton says:

    Trichinosis is the parasite that was feared decades ago, and was often found in pork. Farming
    practices in developed nations have made encountering it a remote possibility now, and even
    so, it’s killed at around 137 degrees F, right at the border between med. rare and medium.
    Enterococci, a bacterium associated with pork, is killed at 140 F, but since it would only be a
    surface contaminant on an intact cut of pork (and the surface of the cut reaches a higher temp.
    than the sterile interior) it’s more of a consideration if one is preparing ground pork. In
    ground pork, the surface of the cuts, and any bacteria thereon, will be mixed throughout the
    meat, and thus need to be cooked to a higher temp than an intact cut. Oh, and if one is eating
    wild pig, as we do here in the South, keep in mind that those animals have never been
    administered antibiotics or anti-parasitic drugs, and have been dining on whatever is at hand…

  10. APX says:

    @Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
    Pork. Rare.

    I was always taught that rare pork led to botulism.
    Ehh…not quite. Clostridium botulinum growth in pork is most common with improperly preserved pork, and most commonly found in improperly cured and smoked ham. You can find it in other places, though. Buldged tin cans are an indication of clostridium botulinum growth, or, as I discovered cleaning out my fridge, forgotten containers which “blow their top” are also a sign of such growth.

    There is something else though, that one should be careful about when preparing fresh pork, which I will discuss below.

    According to the book of Pork (seriously, I have the Pork book produced by the Canadian Pork Association with all one could ever want to know about pork.), “rare pork should not be eaten.” It further goes on to discuss federal food inspection regulations.

    It’s not Botulism one needs to worry about, but Trichinosis (unless you live in Canada, as we have very strict pork processing regulations and closely supervised government-inspected processing plants).

    Swine contract the disease by eating raw garbage (This practice is illegal in Canada, but I don’t have anything on the US). Humans contract it by eating raw, inadequately cooked, or improperly cured meat. Both heat and freezing kill the parasite. Thus, it only makes sense to only eat thoroughly cooked pork.

  11. @APX
    Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
    “often referred to in the media as DSK,[2][3] is a French economist, lawyer, and politician, and a member of the French Socialist Party. Strauss-Kahn became the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 28 September 2007, with the backing of his country’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy, and served in that role until his resignation on 18 May 2011.[4]” from from his Wikipedia page

    I’m Canadian too. The only way I found out was googling DSK and Freedom Fries.

  12. Oh I should mention he’s in trouble with the law. Something about a maid in a hotel.

    from the same Wiki page
    “In May 2011, Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York City and charged with the sexual assault of a maid who was cleaning his Sofitel hotel suite. Although Strauss-Kahn has not yet entered a plea, he has denied all charges.[5][6] A judge later approved his release on US$1 million bail.[7]”

  13. bookworm says:

    “I didn’t realize the US still calls French Fries, Freedom Fries.”

    Most of us Yanks don’t do that anymore, and have reverted to the older name (French fries), with a few occasional exceptions.

    I understand that something similar occurred during the First World War when Americans briefly referred to sauerkraut as “liberty cabbage”.

  14. Nora says:

    I always hit a cooking rut when waiting for the spring produce to come in. I am suddenly too bored with winter food to want to cook anything at all.

  15. Grabski says:

    Let me recommend Laphraoig 10 y.o. or Quarter cask, which is a less expensive but no less enjoyable single malt alternative to Lagavullin. [Hey! It can be both/and rather than either/or. Right?]

    PS Please put together a cook book, Father!

  16. benedetta says:

    Very rare pork, it makes me nervous. Take care of yourself, Fr. Z…

    Anyone noticed (re: Freedom fries) the way the msm, from the outset and now continuing, keeps attempting to categorize former imf director in libertine terms in response to the arrest? So we are to accept the idea that the allegations are just par for the course of an evolved man, that behavior of this sort is a part of a whole spectrum of possibilities? A few publications seem at least to refuse to engage in this propaganda and just say simply that he is accused of criminal assault. But there is little outrage from msm feminists…there is such a lack of credibility and a complete inability to say, this behavior is an assault and beyond the pale…and so much for the msm speaking for the common person, the poor…they favor his wealth, dominance, power as somehow justified! So much for the msm pairing with the socialist cause on behalf of the poorest…

    Freedom fries. Yes.

  17. AnAmericanMother says:

    One of the comments to the NYTimes article is absolutely false in saying that we haven’t had a case of trichinosis in the U.S. since the 1950s.
    The CDC reports an average of 12 cases per year. I don’t know who “Jim Gray” is, but I wouldn’t listen to him.
    Some cases are probably from game (especially bear, in which trichinosis is endemic) but some are from pigs.
    And it’s not rare (ahem) when it happens to you . . . .
    I still cook my pork to the recommended temperature. That will put you on the border of medium, you don’t have to cook it to death. And it’s still tender.

  18. Montenegro says:

    There is a good word that describes STARSHIP TROOPERS…and movies like it: “craptastic.” [LOL! Yah… that’s about right.]
    Love the Lagavulin. It’s a fave.

  19. “Starship Troopers”: the movie. VERY loosely based on the book!

  20. SonofMonica says:

    I second the call for Fr. Z to put out a cookbook.

  21. Dr. Eric says:

    “Why are women in flicks now always tougher and better killers than men?”

    I would think it’s due to the lie that we’re told that women and men are interchangeable. In real life women just don’t have the speed or strength to kill men. If a woman has a gun it may even things out, I don’t have the research to make a comment on how women fair in marksmanship. But in combat and in the special forces missions, they don’t send women for those jobs.

    This is why men and women do not fight each other in boxing, mixed martial arts, wrestling, kickboxing, Judo, and Jiu-Jitsu.

  22. mike cliffson says:

    Long Live Brussels Sprouts ! (Especially from NE Bedfordshire ,UK).
    Ace if they’ve had a touch of frost. Frozen are edible, but…
    Setting off a good solid meaty gravy, or a fancy meatsuace involving wine, Superb! Fr, I take it your photo shows the ranch sauce?
    Anybody statesside could try them Brit Xmas dinner style, with boiled/steamed chestnuts.Google for methods.
    Also doubleplusgood: Still a weensy bit al diente, boiled or steamed, toss em around in the pan for a mo with hot olive oil and various nuts: walnut maybe or cashew, unroasted shelled sunflower seeds, for us plebs. A few thin little squares in the pan of Spanish mountain cured ham, or Italian, go great .
    I’m half convinced by the Brit foodie mania of buying them on the stalk, but I don’t know: the same stalks admitted multiple harvestings over the colder months in my mis-spent yuf many moons ago.
    Has Hollywood ever mangled Citizen of the Galaxy?

  23. mike cliffson says:

    Sorry Bearnese.

  24. Will D. says:

    Medium is as far as I’ll go with Pork. Trichinosis is infrequent nowadays, but I don’t feel like gambling with it.

    As for the drinking stuff, next time you go to the bottle store, Fr. Z, I highly recommend trying the Johnnie Walker Green label. It’s a vatted whisky, rather than a blend (no grain alcohol), and it’s exceptionally tasty and smooth. All the malts used in it are at least 15 years old.

  25. Margaret says:

    Any idea what kind of temperature we’re talking about to get that color of “rare” pork? I just barely get mine to 138-140 for safety’s sake, and it’s still very juicy and pinkish. But I’ve never seen that roast-beef kind of color to it. Fr. Z– is that possibly an artifact of the camera? Or was it really that deep, rich RED color??

  26. Mary: It was about 145F.

  27. Martial Artist says:

    Dear Father Z,

    My compliments to you on your excellent taste in uisge beatha. Lagavulin 16YO is the favorite single malt of my dear lady wife. And, while I have no favorites amongst the varieties of the cratur, the Laphroaig Quarter Cask, referenced by Grabski, and various expressions of Talisker are both high up on my list of preferred spirits.

    Would I be correct in inferring from the above references to Laphroaig and Lagavulin that you have a distinct preference for the more heavily peated island whiskies, or are your tastes in single malt whisky substantially broader? Finally, are you at all familiar with the bottlings of the Scotch Malt Whisky Society?

    Pax et bonum,
    Keith Töpfer
    [Member, Scotch Malt Whisky Society (USA); Friend of Laphroaig; Friend of the Classic Malts; Companion of Aberlour]

  28. Martial Artist says:

    P.S. to my comment above: Are you aware of any source of coarse mettwurst in the US, particularly a merchant who ships it interstate? My state banned its sale about 7 or 8 years ago, and Usinger’s no longer makes it, nor do they carry any made by others. I have eaten it, when I could purchase it, for the better part of 55 years, and am now feeling thoroughly deprived, presumably by the actions of the food Nazis.

    Pax et bonum et tibi multas gratias,
    Keith Töpfer (if you prefer you can email the answer to: khtoepfer [at] msn [dot] com.

  29. elaurier says:

    “Why are women in flicks now always tougher and better killers than men?” I can’t comment on women killers…don’t know any personally, and I rarely watch mindless action or sci-fi…but….I really believe women ARE tougher than men. Any of you guys tried giving birth lately?

    As for pork, I heard the old temperature guidelines have been revised somewhat. But I would never eat pink pork, sorry….saw a liver fluke in biology class taken from a deer liver and the teacher told us that eating undercooked pork would give us trich and which looked just like liver flukes. True or false….the memory of those things made a huge impression and I’ve gotta have my pork cooked.

  30. Grabski says:

    Martial Artist My guess is that Fr Z likes a bit of smoke, seeing how he referenced JW Black and Lagavullin.

    I’d offer a variation on the theme to Peat : Connemara, Peated Irish Whisky.

    Another is Black Grouse, from Hoag (Famous Grouse)

  31. K. Marie says:

    @Charles E Flynn: Yes! My gran used to tell me that when I was little while I helped her make the corned beef and cabbage (I guess my family never upgraded…).

  32. S. Murphy says:

    Dr Eric,

    That’s about it. ‘Toughness’ can cover a diverse range of things – cf elaurier’s reference to a certain 9-month endurance event in which men do not compete (well, someone at feministing recently suggested that trans men do, ergo abortion is a men’s as well as a woman’s issue); but there are certainly quarters in which it is insisted that women should be allowed to take up such military occupational specialties as ‘grunt,’ because it’s only fair, and will force the military to recognize that women are truly equal . This is a fantasy that Hollywood believes, or more likely, finds lucrative.

  33. Dorcas says:

    Ah, that looks so great. I LOVE Brussels Sprouts, can’t get them here; I’m going home in a few weeks, so I hope I can find some to feast on.
    I have read EVERYTHING Heinlein ever wrote; I was a huge fan as a teen. As I got older he became kind of a guilty pleasure, then I got to see his works as a kind of vice…although a very entertaining one. He certainly lauded the differences of men and women, while consistently pointing out the general superiority of women…although his books are plot-driven, and should transition well to the screen, without Heinlein’s political commentary much gets lost from the story. I would love to see The Moon is a Harsh Mistress on the screen, but the project died for some reason.

  34. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Woman fare as well as men in marksmanship. In civilian life, we tend to practice more than men, who seem to feel that they somehow have a genetic predisposition to accuracy with firearms, which is manifestly untrue as a visit to your local range can show. I can empty the cylinder into the eye box in 5 seconds at 15 feet.

    And as far as competition is concerned, remember a few years ago when the Hathcock Trophy went to a female gunnery sergeant? Nobody complained, least of all her fellow competitors. I have found shooters to be some of the least sexist people around.

    Women tend to excel at those hand-eye coordination things. We are good at pinball too.

    Excellence at marksmanship has nothing to do with the separate issue of women in combat.

  35. Ignatius says:

    Father, South America is fairly big… the Trapiche (one T) is produced in Argentina… just sayin’.
    Glad you liked it. It’s a very good wine.

  36. Ignatius says:

    Ooops! I meant “one p”.

  37. irishgirl says:

    I had Brussels sprouts only once in my life, and that was when I went to Toronto, Canada with my parents and twin sister in the summer of 1973. We had dinner on a boat that was tied up in the harbor.
    I had rainbow trout with the sprouts. I remember trying to avoid eating the bones.
    But your supper looks pretty good, Father Z-and I third the suggestion that you do a cookbook!
    Off topic-were you in any danger from the twisters in Minnesota? [There were tornados, but not within visual range here.]

  38. Patti Day says:

    Father, If you don’t have the time to do a cookbook, could you mount your iphone above the stove and upload a couple of dishes to You Tube?
    Also, would the enzymes in the marinade have made the pork look pinker?

  39. Patti Day: Enzymes… that is a possibility. However, I think it was simply a little pink because I cooked it that way.

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