Recipe: Crispy Potato Fritters (Gromperekichelcher)

My first taste of Luxembourg’s Gromperekichelcher was during the annual Christmas market. The town square buzzed with happy shoppers and carolers whose voices floated down from the bandstand. The smell of fried potatoes and onions was just about enough to send anyone straight for their wallet so, of course, I happily complied.

While most Luxembergers dunked their fritters in apple sauce, I went straight for the ketchup. It was an easy thing to do and it made my new home a little more familiar – a little more like the United States, which I had left back in 1992. The irony is, of course, that now I eat the fritters with ketchup because it reminds me of Luxembourg. It’s amazing how memories travel with our taste buds, wherever we go.

Even though I left Luxembourg after high school, in 1998, I simply have to smell fried potatoes to go back there. In those moments, I remember the friends and the food. The troubles and the laughter. The tears and the songs. It all comes bundled up together, and sometimes the best thing to do, in good times and bad, is to simply enjoy whatever peaceful moments we can find in the now – and, then, when it passes, to take another bite of life… to see what’s next.

Makes about 8

Ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes (about 2 lbs total), peeled and grated
1 onion, diced
a handful of parsley, chopped
2 eggs
2-6 Tbsp flour (as needed to get them to hold together)
salt & pepper

oil for frying

Method:

Come with me to Luxembourg. She twinkles at night, just like a little star.

Luxembourg at night. Photo by Benh LIEU SONG.

While you’re there, make some Gromperekichelcher.

First step? Wash, peel and coarsely grate the potatoes. Watch out for your knuckles – trust me, you don’t want to grate them.

When you’re done, put the potatoes in a cloth and press all the moisture out.

Add the potatoes to a large bowl with the chopped onion, parsley, eggs, and flour. Add enough flour to thicken the potatoes so that they hold their shape when placed in the oil.

Now, sizzle-fry the potato mixture in hot oil (about 350-375F). While you can deep-fry it, I simply put 3/4 inch in a skillet and that worked well enough for us folks at home.

Fry on both sides until deep golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve hot with ketchup or sweet, homemade apple sauce [recipe].

Enjoy with a happy collection of friends, no matter what the occasion.

Bichermaart on the Place d'Armes in Luxembourg, where kids sell their used schoolbooks. Photo by JWH.

Let each bite be a smile. 

Yum!

 

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Comments

  1. Jessica Bennett says:

    Another wonderful blog post! I love your personal stories, and it is interesting that ketchup went from being a taste of the US to becoming a taste of Luxembourg for you.

    Your blog has made me mindful of how much my grandmother’s cooking was an influence in my life. I didn’t think it really was, but the things you make keep pointing out things I didn’t think much about (for instance, I eat my potato fritters with apple sauce since that’s what we did at her apartment when I was a child). I always thought of my mother’s cooking as having a big influence in my life (and it was!), but I spent quite a bit of time at my grandparents’ and while cooking wasn’t a part of our relationship (she kept everyone out of her tiny kitchen), I have several food memories from my childhood time there, and I miss that comfort food.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      That’s beautiful! It’s amazing how little things creep into our lives … we do them without awareness but when we really sit back to think about it, how much history goes into our choices. Generations…

  2. Those look awesome :) Thanks for sharing!!!!!

  3. Richard Westwell says:

    Gromperekichelcher are very similar to the Swiss Rosti. I made Gromperekichelcher and added finely diced chorizo in the mixture. A variation on a theme! I think various items of food can be added, just use our imagination.

  4. aunty eileen says:

    This recipe is like a ‘piece-of-heaven’! I personally would not want any side dip… I would just enjoy the flavorful treat/meal as is. Regarding variations: I agree, and I might add a small bit of grated bell pepper or even finely sliced zucchini, etc. I would also try and not use much oil, but making sure the outer layer is crisp…. ?

  5. These potato fritter remind me of the Reibekuchen I used to have at the Christmas Market when I lived in Germany. I always wanted to buy them and always could not finish them (the average portion was three large ones… And I think it costed about 1.50 euros, a year ago). My favourite part was the apple sauce :)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Yes, I think I remember the portions were about the same in Lux… huge! But that was good, because we could share (it seemed like there was always one of us without cash).

  6. elisa waller says:

    can you say DINNER TIME…..Abendessen!!!! LOL..No really I’m serious…dinner time!! <3

  7. Richard Westwell says:
    • Sasha Martin says:

      Oh that brought back lots of memories.. notice all the anglophone accents at the end? It’s a very international community!

  8. Just found your blog through Feastie.com, loved it!

    I intend to seriously indulge in your site this weekend, as I am at work now and would feel too guilty, although it IS hard to resist!
    ;-)

  9. Sally (commenter above) emailed me your site earlier today as she thought I would love it – and I do! We have been doing something similar for the past year with our kids. I can’t wait to follow along. :)

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Welcome to you, too, Kristy! That’s awesome that you are doing something like this for your children… I’m so proud of you.. your kids will thank you for it later. :)

  10. Sasha, I notice you grated your potatoes by hand. Do you think the fritters would be as good using a food processor to grate the potatoes?

    • Sasha Martin says:

      That would be perfectly fine! In fact, I sort of wished I had done that because I grated my knuckle making these. Just be sure to squeeze out all the juices.

  11. I made them today and they were so good. I had to control myself and save some for my husband, who liked them a lot as well. Great snack!

Trackbacks

  1. […] found this recipe on the Global table adventure blog and thought I’d give it a try.  I followed the recipe more or less as it was written […]

  2. […] I would like to share some photos of the Christmas markets. There was Gluhwein, gromperekablahblah, and sausages (which I only eat in the figurative sense). There were locally made wares of all […]

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