Starters need to be fed, sometimes often, but that doesn't mean you have to send your discard down the drain! Instead make some comfort food--a turkey pot pie with a sourdough-cornmeal crust. This recipe uses ground turkey for speed and ease, but you could certainly substitute cooked, chopped turkey or chicken. Full of vegetables, the pot pie is a meal in a dish. If you'd like, serve a crisp salad alongside and perhaps some bread (sourdough!) for a hearty dinner. You should know that this recipe isn't for a pastry-crust type pot pie. Instead, the sourdough-cornmeal crust is a little crunchy on the top and more like a yeasty cornbread once you dig in. It's different, and it's good. You can mix up the topping in advance and let it sit on your counter for a few hours to let the yeast flavor develop, but the crust gets its rise (or most of it) from baking powder rather than your discard/starter (meaning you don't have to have a mature starter/discard). This is a fairly quick recipe--quicker than many pot pie versions--that is definitely "comfort food" as well as a great way to use up that discard.
Sourdough Ground Turkey Pot Pie -- Serves 6+
1 cup of starter/discard
1/4 cup of canola oil
2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of cornmeal
In a large bowl, whisk or mix together well the starter/discard, oil, sugar, egg, milk, and cornmeal. Cover the mixture loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit until you're ready to use it (3-5 hours is just fine). The mixture may rise a little or not, depending on your starter/discard, but not to worry, either way. You can also use the mixture immediately.
When you're ready to proceed with your dinner/recipe, add the following to the mixture and stir everything well, then set the mixture aside while you prepare the filling.
1/2 cup of flour
2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1-2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 medium chopped onion (about a cup or so)
2-3 ribs of celery chopped
16 ounces of lean ground turkey
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/4 teaspoon of ground pepper
1 teaspoon of poultry seasoning
1/4 teaspoon of garlic powder
3 tablespoons of flour
2 cups of chicken broth (or 2 cups of water and 2 teaspoons of reduced sodium chicken
"Better than Bullion")
12-ounce package of frozen peas and carrots (or use mixed veggies)
Coat a large (2 quarts or so) baking dish with non-stick cooking spray and set it aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onion and celery and saute them for 5-8 minutes until they soften but are still firm. Crumble in the ground turkey and then add the salt, pepper, poultry seasoning, and garlic powder. Saute the turkey and vegetables for about 10 minutes or until the turkey is cooked through. Sprinkle on the flour and stir it into the turkey mixture well, continuing to cook and stir everything for a few minutes until the flour is incorporated and cooked a bit. Stir in the chicken broth and reduce the heat to medium. Cook the filling mixture for 5-10 minutes, stirring it periodically, until the sauce thickens and is reduced by about one-half. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees while the filling cooks on the stove top. Turn off the heat under the filling, and stir in the frozen peas and carrots (the heat will thaw them, and they'll cook more in the oven, so don't worry). Carefully pour the filling into the prepared baking dish and smooth it out evenly. Pour the topping evenly over the filling mixture. Bake the pot pie for 35-40 minutes or until golden. Some of the filling may bubble up through the fissures! No problem! It's good! Let the pot pie stand for 5-10 minutes before serving it.