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January 30, 2013

Add a kick to the party's food spread

Add a kick with guacamole combos

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 four ways to turn basic into unbelievably good.

If sweet and heat are your style, go for guac mixed with brown sugar candied bacon and hot sauce. Heat fiends will prefer the corn and chipotle blend, while those who favor the exotic touch might like the shrimp and mango version. And for those who want it all? A roasted fresh salsa guac.

BASIC GUACAMOLE RECIPE

Start to finish: 10 minutes

Servings: 12

4 Hass avocados, skins and pits removed

4 teaspoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 ground black pepper

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. 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, combined with the acid of the lime juice, should prevent the guacamole from browning.

SWEET HEAT BACON GUACAMOLE

Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, then set a wire rack over it. Coat the rack with cooking spray. Arrange 1/2 pound of bacon evenly on the rack. Sprinkle the tops of the bacon liberally with brown sugar. Bake at 350 F 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.

Mix a splash of hot sauce (more or less, to taste) into the basic guacamole recipe, then mix in three-quarters of the chopped candied bacon. Sprinkle the remaining bacon over the guacamole, then serve.

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