Gyros: As a graduate student living not that far from Toronto's Danforth Avenue, I acquired a taste for the Greek pressed and seasoned meat known as gyros. Much later I started trying to recreate it at home, arriving at something slightly different than what the awesome restaurants of the Danforth would provide, but with its own merits. You'll need ground meat (beef, lamb, or a mixture of both), salt, pepper, onion (or garlic), oregano (or some other leafy, savoury herb), and olive oil. You'll also need a pan that can be used in the oven to form a baked meatloaf (something narrow, deep and oven-safe). (recipe)

Pasta Cacciatore: Not to be at all confused with the classical chicken cacciatore... This is a family staple that derives from a recipe I learned during the period I lived in Italy, combined with the Venetian-style cacciatore sausage that is readily available in Hamilton, Ontario, plus a few other wrinkles (principally, jalapeƱos). (recipe)

Cashew Chicken Korma: I typically make some or other kind of curry 2 or 3 times a week. This chicken korma recipe is much influenced by all of the recipes I have made out of one cooking book in particular: 50 Great Curries of India by Camellia Panjabi. The particular flavours of this "everyday dish" are adapted to my own tastes and those of my family - this is particularly true for the strong dose of both cloves and cardamom. All the amounts are for 3 people (or perhaps 2 very hungry people). (recipe)

Chicken Alfredo: I make this indulgent triple-dairy classic (cream, butter and cheese!) once every couple of weeks, with a technique that has been influenced by my time in Italy, my regular habit of Indian cuisine, my flirtation with French cuisine, and by watching the way my wife cooks chicken for our 1-2 year old. It has little in the way of vegetables so it would be good to precede it with a salad or follow it with a fruity desert! (recipe)

Insalata Caprese (Caprese Salad): This is the salad I'm most likely to make on any given day, all other things being equal. I make it as a side salad, served in a separate dish before or alongside a pasta, pizza, or meat dish. I make it deliberately small - which keeps it cheaper and less overbearing. (recipe)

Tacos/Enchiladas: This is my recipe for tacos/enchiladas, with the tacos as quick to make and serve, and the enchiladas involving a little bit of extra complexity. The characteristic quirk of the recipes here is the strong fennel seed flavour in the meat, and, I suppose, the insistence on Kashmiri chili powder. Hard not to make tacos/enchiladas this way if you have these curry ingredients hanging around! (recipe)