The arrival of Barcelona Cult Recipes by Stephan Mitsch gave me a great excuse to pull out the paella pan and cazuela. German-born Mitsch has absorbed and documented the unique Catalan cuisine with great curiosity and enthusiasm. What struck me on my first flick through was the representation of the authentic tastes and flavours of Barcelona. Recipes and dishes that took me back to the many family-run restaurants where menus were small (if non-existent) and you ate what was in season and cooked from the heart. Pimientos de padrón – Padrón chillies simply fried until their skins begin to blister, drained and sprinkled with salt. Fideos amb mariscs – the Catalan response to Valencia’s seafood paella made with fideo pasta, fish stock and whatever seafood is abundant. Llom de cerdo amb figues – pork loin with a sauce of figs that have been marinated in Pedro Jiminez. If you are going to cook from Barcelona you must have a go at what is surely the best known Spanish temptation, crema Catalana. Now if only the husband would catch some squid so I can have a go at the arros negre amb sipia – black rice with squid.