Irish foods are calling

Photo by Rex Fortenberry  --  Any leftovers of The Shepherds' Irish Soda Bread can be used to make bread pudding with a Irish whiskey sauce.
Photo by Rex Fortenberry -- Any leftovers of The Shepherds' Irish Soda Bread can be used to make bread pudding with a Irish whiskey sauce.

Want a reason to make some Irish food? The Baton Rouge Irish Club is hosting its fifth annual Irish film festival in downtown Baton Rouge on Friday and Saturday.

That’s all it took for Marcie Shepherd, a club member who serves on its film committee, to share a couple of recipes that combine her family’s Louisiana and Irish traditions. “My great-grandfather was an Irish immigrant into New Orleans.”

“In Louisiana, we’ve been blessed with a love for our French bread,” she said.

An invitation to her family’s “French bread parties” refers to “a family morning get-together for planning, gossip and good fun” where toasted bread is served with cafĂ© au lait.”

The family also loves to serve thick slices of its version of Irish soda bread. It’s “easy to fix, freezes well and leftovers can be converted to a favorite Louisiana dessert, bread pudding with Irish whiskey cream sauce,” she said.

Her Louisiana Shepherd’s Pie reflects “a melding of cultures in my family, true Louisiana natives with deep Irish roots who believe the 11th Commandment should read ‘waste not, want not.’ Thus, in our family, leftovers represent a challenge for the makeover chefs,” Shepherd said.

Her shepherd’s pie takes advantage of a crawfish boil’s leftover spicy vegetables.

The Baton Rouge Irish Club says more than 40 million Americans consider themselves Irish or of Irish descent.

The Baton Rouge Irish Film Festival will be held at the Manship Theatre at the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St. It will include the showing of films; live Irish music; a dance workshop; and an after-party Saturday at Boudreaux and Thibodeaux’s, 214 Third St.

Also being held in conjunction with the film festival is Military Day on Sunday at the Celtic Media Centre and a pub night Monday at Phil Brady’s Bar and Grill, 4848 Government St.

For complete details, visit batonrougeirishfilmfestival.com or filmbatonrouge.com. To purchase tickets, contact the Manship Theatre at (225) 344-0334 or go to manshiptheatre.org.