EXCLUSIVE: Watch the von Trapps Make Their Family’s Schnitzel Recipe

03/04/2014 at 06:00 AM ET

Sound of Music Von Trapp Schnitzel Recipe
Courtesy Pink Martini

Raise your hand if the name “von Trapp” makes you think about lederhosen, yodeling and a little old play-turned-film called The Sound of Music.

Well, things have changed, and it’s time you meet Sofia, Melanie, Amanda and August von Trapp. These fresh-faced siblings range in age from 19 to 25 and are the great-grandchildren of Captain and Baroness Maria von Trapp. Their grandfather was Werner, who was the inspiration for spunky little Kurt in The Sound of Music story. (Werner’s sister, who was also named Maria, died recently and was the last surviving member of the seven original von Trapp children.)

Some things to know about these von Trapps: They sing beautifully (duh), just released an album called Dream a Little Dream with Pink Martini (a jazz-meets-pop Oregon-based orchestra) and make a mean schnitzel.

Don’t believe us? Check out their flipping and frying moves and listen to one of the songs from the new album on this feelgood video (below). It makes us smile every time we watch it.

Although the video is both arty and silly, it clearly demonstrates how to make this traditional Austrian dish. The ingredients are introduced (a stuffed cow stands in for veal, though the von Trapps often use chicken instead) and the meat is pounded to the proper thinness before getting coated with flour, egg and breadcrumbs. As the schnitzel cooks in the frying pan, a tip pops up on the screen: “Light, brown and crispy!”

One of our favorite moments in the video is when Melanie eats some raspberry jam right off a spoon and gives an utterly satisfied head shake. (We feel you, Melanie.) “The jam is a personal touch since our dad adores raspberries,” she exclusively tells PEOPLE. The finished dish is served with a dollop of jam, crusty white bread, potato salad and lemon wedges.

The siblings look like schnitzel-making pros thanks to years of practice. “‘Schnitzel Night’ started in Montana, where we grew up, as a themed family dinner. We would pound and fry the meat while pulling out all the German phrases learned from our oma (grandmother) and various aunts and uncles, such as ‘ya, sehr lecker!’ (delicious!),” Melanie says.

Eventually the family relocated to Portland and started sharing the tradition with others. “We needed an excuse to have a party and make friends, so schnitzel night seemed like a natural choice,” Melanie says. The gatherings started small but didn’t stay that way for long. “Only two people were there for the first schnitzel night, maybe five people for the next. But as word spread and we met other Portlanders, we found ourselves frying for over fifty people!”

Along with the sizzle of hot oil you’ll hear a catchy, harmony-driven tune is called “Die Dorfmusik,” which means “the village music” in German. It’s a love song about a young man named Jochen who loves to waltz with a woman named Katarina.

Dream a Little Dream was released today and contains new music as well as some retooled Sound of Music favorites like “The Lonely Goatherd” and “Edelweiss.” The Chieftains, Wayne Newton, and Charmian Carr (who played Liesl in The Sound of Music movie) all make guest appearances on the album.

—Lexi Dwyer

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Showing 8 comments

Anonymous on

This is a cute video. They are basically making WIENER Schnitzel. There are lots of different types of Schnitzel in Austria and Germany. BTW you should never use olive oil for frying stuff. At least that’s what I heard ;)

CHLOE on

BTW, anonymous…YES, you should ALWAYS use olive oil…it’s the junk oils such as corn, canola, etc that you should NEVER use. They are garbage and a great way to ruin the flavor of your food. ;)

Tina on

@CHLOE, you may be wrong about the olive oil. Olive oil burns. That’s why I don’t generally use it when frying. However, I find that as long as the vegetable oil is extremely hot, the food fries quickly and doesn’t absorb much fat. Oh, BTW, this is fried chicken. lol

Jess on

Virgin Olive Oil is HORRIBLE for frying. It breaks down and turns rancid at relatively low temps. Organic coconut oil is the absolute best choice but grapeseed, sunflower and safflower are not the worst oils you could use for frying. BUT frying is the worst possible way to cook food, period. Baking and sautéing is MUCH healthier because you can use Virgin Olive Oil when you cook at lower temps. Frying causes cancer.

Jess on

Olive Oil is horrible for frying because it breaks down and turns rancid at high temps. Organic coconut oil is the absolute best choice for frying BUT frying is the worst possible way to prepare food. Sadly! :p Baking and sautéing with Olive Oil is the healthy choice. Frying causes cancer.

Iri on

Never use olive oil to fry. Not only does it have a strong flavor that will overpower whatever food you’re cooking, but it also has a very low smoke point that makes it very unhealthy due to oxidation and smoke. Avocado oil, sesame oil (although also strong in flavor), grapeseed oil, and sunflower oil are much better and healthier options.

jwcgd23 on

Reblogged this on Lita's Corner.

ted@atomicplayrooms.com on

I am not sure about cooking tips but we saw these fun shockingly talented (in addition to legacy legendary) and tight 4-part harmony singers open for Pink Martini here a few weeks ago, and it was an unexpected pleasure. See them if you can! Love the lemon headshot gag; nice little video y’all!

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