Duck Legs:
– 2 duck legs ($4.50 each)
– 5-6 cloves of black garlic ($4-5 a package)
– 2 tablespoons of balsamic fig mustard
– 4 dashes of Tabasco (optional)
– 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
– Fresh ground pepper

Smoked Gouda Crostini:
– 1 cup of shredded Thunder Oak Smoked Gouda
– 8 mini ciabatta buns ($4.50 for a large bag)
– 5 sundried tomatoes
– 8-10 capers
– 1 splash of grape seed or olive oil

The addition of a Loblaws to the newly reopened Maple Leaf Gardens, now also home to the Mattamy Athletic Centre, was a monumental event in my life. Grocery shopping, which had previously been a minor inconvenience, has now become a pleasure. With the arrival of the impressive floor-to-ceiling cheese wall came other unexpected edible items, like black garlic.

Without the harsh sting and unpleasant side-effects of fresh garlic, the black version is fermented. Just like fine wine, it just gets better with age. It’s sticky and slightly sweet and contains almost twice the amount of antioxidants as regular garlic.

However, finding a use for it can be tricky. Since I had a few cloves lying around my house, I decided to put them to good use as a marinade for this week’s dish: duck legs.

I wanted to somehow melt down the cloves to make them more spreadable. Note: do not put them in the microwave. Everything starts smoking, the fire alarm will go off and you will spend 10 minutes trying to figure out what’s on fire.

Instead, I doused them in boiling water and smashed them up with a fork. I added the mustard, Worcestershire, Tabasco and black pepper and spread it on the duck legs, which I had salted and put in tinfoil. Since the duck takes the longest to cook, I suggest you put that in the oven first or you’ll be stuck filling up on mini toasts instead of eating a real meal.

Since I’m not a big meat-and-potatoes girl, my idea of a side dish is some toasted bread (the broccoli was my roommate’s idea.) I shredded up the cheese, chopped the sundried tomatoes and capers, added the olive oil and spread that mixture on the mini ciabattas. Bake those puppies for about 10-15 minutes next to the duck legs.

And while those are cooking, start steaming that broccoli. It’s pretty easy, and you can basically season it however you like. I chose to add some salt-free Italian style seasoning with rosemary and lemon juice.  And of course, I tossed in some salt.

Difficulty: 7.9/10

Roommate Rating: 10/10 (“All other items will be measured against this duck.”)

Journalism student, penny saver, and mustache afficionado. Victoria graduated from the Ryerson School of Journalism in 2014.