Looking for a few simple ways to freshen up the go-to dish of the Super Bowl? We cobbled together a mighty tasty basic guacamole, then came up with a couple ways to turn basic into unbelievably good.
BASE GUACAMOLE RECIPE
4 Hass avocados, skins and pits removed
4 teaspoons lime juice
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. In a medium bowl, use a fork or potato masher to mash the avocados. The guacamole should be mostly smooth, but with visible chunks. Mix in the lime juice, cumin, salt and pepper. Proceed with the recipe using one of the following mix-in combinations.
2. Guacamole is best served right away and at room temperature. If you must make it ahead and refrigerate it, cover it with plastic wrap, gently pressing the wrap over the entire surface of the guacamole. This, combine with the acid of the lime juice, should prevent the guacamole from browning.
1. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a wire rack over it. Coat the rack with cooking spray. Arrange ½ pound of bacon evenly on the rack. Sprinkle the tops of the bacon liberally with brown sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the bacon is lightly browned, crisped and the sugar has caramelized. Let the bacon cool, then cut it into bite-size chunks.
2. Mix a splash of hot sauce (more or less, to taste) into the base guacamole recipe, then mix in three-quarters of the chopped candied bacon. Sprinkle the remaining bacon over the guacamole, then serve.
ROASTED FRESH SALSA GUACAMOLE
When preparing the base guacamole recipe, omit the salt.
1. Slice 1 pint of cherry or grape tomatoes in half, then toss them with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon ground black pepper. Spread the tomatoes evenly over a rimmed baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees for 15 minutes, or until lightly browned.
2. Stir the roasted tomatoes, a 12-ounce jar of roasted red peppers (drained, patted dry and diced), ¼ cup diced red onion, 1 diced jalapeño pepper (with or without seeds, depending on your heat tolerance) and 4 minced cloves of garlic into the base guacamole recipe.
Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is author of the cookbook “High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking.”