A layered casserole dish using a slow cooker. Potato slices replace the usual bread in this homey, economical main dish. Serve with buttered green peas and a little chili sauce on the side. You should use a 5-quart slow cooker or larger. This dish can be assembled up to 12 hours in advance. Prepare through step 2, cover and refrigerate overnight. The next day, place stoneware in slow cooker and proceed with step 3.
2 tbsp butter
1 cup thinly sliced leeks (white and light green parts only)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups half-and-half (10%) cream or evaporated milk
1 cup shredded Gruyère or Swiss cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 cups thinly sliced peeled yellow-flesh potatoes (8 to 10)*
2 cans (each 7-1/2 oz.) red sockeye salmon, drained and skin removed, broken into pieces**
1 cup dry breadcrumbs
3 tbsp butter, melted
* I like to use Yukon Gold or other yellow-flesh potatoes for their buttery flavour and yellow colour when cooked. You can use russet potatoes in this dish, but the colour won't be as yellow.
** If you are a fan of smoked salmon, you can add about 1/4 cup chopped smoked salmon along with the canned salmon. Be careful not to overdo it, though, or the flavour of the smoked salmon will overpower the flavour of the potatoes.
Step 1: In a skillet, melt 2 tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Sauté leeks for about 5 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle flour over leeks and stir to coat. Gradually add cream, whisking constantly, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in Gruyère, dill, salt and pepper until cheese has melted.
Step 2: Spoon 1 cup of the leek mixture into greased slow cooker stoneware. Spread 1/3 of the potatoes over the leeks. Spread salmon over potatoes. Arrange the remaining potatoes on top. Pour the remaining leek mixture over potatoes.
Step 3: In a medium bowl, combine breadcrumbs and melted butter. Sprinkle over mixture in stoneware.
Step 4: Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours, until strata is heated through and potatoes are tender.
Reprinted with permission from Donna-Marie Pye's Canada's Slow Cooker Winners (2010 Robert Rose).