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Elkhart Jazz Festival 2015: Four recipes to celebrate the music

The sound of brassy jazz music floating through the summer air, can only mean one thing — Elkhart Jazz Festival is back. 

This year, the festival is from Friday, June 19 through Sunday, June 21, and will feature Grammy award-winning saxophonist David Sanborn, Super Bowl XXXIII performer Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and plenty more through the weekend. 

Food vendors and a pop-up restaurant will line the street, but the party doesn’t have to end there. Celebrate jazz culture and the arrival of talented artists with four creative recipes inspired by a handful of the musicians taking the stage in Elkhart. 

From Haiti Friends

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy is rolling in to this year’s Elkhart Jazz Festival and though the name is suggestive of New Orleans’ voodoo culture, the group is actually from California, according to Last.Fm. Voodoo, or “vodou” has Haitian roots, which actually does not include the myth of sticking pins into dolls or other types of magic, according to the Haitian Consulate.

This recipe gets back to Haitian traditions and gives a nod to the strong Haitian influence in New Orleans. 


  • 4 tsp. oil
  • 1-2 cups red beans 
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube 
  • 1 clove garlic 
  • 1 leek 
  • 2 cups white rice 
  • 4 cups water 
  • 2 tsp. salt 
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste 
  • parsley and thyme, fresh 


  1. In 2-quart saucepan, heat oil. Add red beans, tomato paste and onion and cook for about three minutes. 
  2. In a mortar and pestle or garlic press, crush garlic and leek together with a half teaspoon of salt. Add to the hot oil and cook for one minute. 
  3. Add four cups of water, rice, the bouillon cube and salt and bring to boil. Stir and cook for five minutes. 
  4. Decrease the heat, cover and let simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender. Do not stir. 
  5. Fluff rice with a fork and serve. 

From Just A Taste

Grammy award-winner David Sanborn cranks some great notes out of his saxophone. Brass instruments are a staple for jazz, and every party needs something sweet like sugar cookies. Even better: dig around to find cookie cutters shaped like little saxophones


  • 3 cups all-purpose flour 
  • ½ tsp. baking powder 
  • ½ tsp. salt 
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1⅓ cups sugar 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 tsp. vanilla 
  • frosting 
  • sprinkles, optional 


  1. In a medium bowl, sift flour, baking powder and salt. 
  2. In stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment, beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and continue beating. Add eggs one at a time, beating between each, then add vanilla. Mix well. 
  3. Add flour and beat until combined. 
  4. Remove the dough, shape into a 6-inch wide disk and wrap with plastic. Put the dough in the refrigerator for at least one hour. 
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line two cookie sheets with a baking mat or parchment paper. 
  6. Remove dough from oven and cut in half. Roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper until about one-fourth of an inch thick. Using cookie cutters, cut cookies out and continue rolling/cutting dough. 
  7. Stick the cut cookies in the refrigerator for 15 minutes, then bake for 9 to 11 minutes until golden. Transfer to wire rack to let cool completely. Frost and decorate as desired. 

From From Away

The Motor City has a pretty diverse food scene, but one of the most whimsical foods and staple items are Coney Island hot dogs — not to be confused with chili dogs. Smother a hot dog with ground beef, onion and mustard and groove to the sounds of Hot Club of Detroit


  • 1 lb. ground beef 
  • 1 large onion, chopped 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 6-oz. can tomato paste 
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tsp. light brown sugar 
  • 1 tbsp. yellow mustard 
  • 1 tbsp. dried onion flakes 
  • 2 tsp. chili powder 
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • ½ tsp. celery seed 
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin 
  • ¼ tsp. ground black pepper 

For each hot dog: 

  • 1 hot dog bun, warmed 
  • 1 natural-casing beef and pork hot dog, grilled or boiled 
  • Squeeze of yellow mustard 
  • 2 tbsp. white onion, diced 


  1. In large skillet over medium heat, brown the ground beef. Use potato masher to break beef into small pieces. Halfway through cooking, add onions and cook until onions turn translucent. Add garlic, stir and cook for another minute. 
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir well. Simmer uncovered for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens. Transfer to food processor and smooth out if needed. 
  3. To serve, place a cooked hot dog in a heated bun. Scoop on the ground beef and finish with the yellow mustard and more chopped onions. 

From Your Homebased Mom

French Quarter isn’t just a great place in New Orleans, it’s also a jazz act coming to this year’s festival. The real French Quarter in NOLA is full of coffee shops and little stores and, if you look closely enough, powdered sugar and cups from Cafe Du Monde’s coffee stand. 


  • 1 package active dry yeast 
  • 1½ cup warm water 
  • ½ cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 1 cup evaporated milk 
  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup vegetable shortening 
  • Oil for deep frying 
  • Powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Put warm water into large bowl and sprinkle yeast and a few teaspoons of granulated sugar and stir well until dissolved. 
  2. Let stand for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the sugar, salt, eggs and evaporated milk. 
  3. Gradually stir in four cups of the flour and beat with wooden spoon until smooth and blended. 
  4. Beat in shortening then add remaining four, about one-third cup at a time and beat with spoon or knead out with hands. 
  5. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate in greased bowl overnight. 
  6. Roll dough out onto floured board to one-eighth of an inch thick and cut into rectangles, two-and-a-half inches by three-and-a-half inches. 
  7. Heat oil in deep fryer to about 360 degrees. Fry the dough about three minutes until puffy and golden brown on both sides. 
  8. Turn over in the oil until evenly fried. Remove from oil and place into brown paper bag with powdered sugar and shake until well coated. 
  9. Eat warm. 


Stay tuned next week for Elkhart Jazz Festival food and drink specials at downtown Elkhart restaurants.

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