A projected 71.5 million pounds of avocados will be consumed during the Super Bowl, and it's hard to avoid all the guacamole and chips (in fact, some Super Bowl parties are first and foremost Guac Bowls, where the competition gets vicious for the title of best spread). But before attempting to throw any old ingredients together with an avocado, take some advice from the experts.
The most important ingredient is ripe avocados. The least is the avocado pit, which people often leave in guacamole bowls thanks to a belief that it will prevent the oxidation that turns guac brown. It's a common mistake, but leaving the pit won't offer any kind of protection. "It will keep the area directly under the pit from browning, but no more," says Jan DeLizer of the California Avocado Commission.
The real solution, says Golden Door spa executive chef Curtis Cooke, is to place a piece of plastic cling wrap directly on the surface of the guacamole to protect it from oxygen exposure. "I also use lime juice, an acid, to keep my guacamole green," says Cooke.
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There are 500 varieties of avocados, but Hass makes the best guacamole (look for the pebbly, dark skin). Avoid the mistake of making guacamole with the smooth, green-skinned avocados. "They have higher water content and don't have the full-bodied creamy richness," says DeLizer.
Choose darker avocados that have a slight give when gently squeezed in the palm of the hand. "If you have no other choice than to buy really green avocados and you need to ripen them within a couple of days, place the green avocados in a brown paper bag and store it in the pantry," says Cooke. "To help speed up the process, you can add an apple or banana to the bag because they release ethylene gas, which naturally ripens fruits."
Finally, don't make the mistake of preparing your guacamole too far in advance. "It's a time-sensitive dish," says Cooke. "Plan to serve it within a couple of hours of making it.
"For those who have Super Bowl plans, Cooke shared his recipe.
3 avocados, diced
1 serrano, roasted, minced
1 tomato, roasted, diced
2 T red onion, minced
1 lime, juiced
2 T cilantro, minced
¾ t sea salt
Preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Place the serrano and tomato on a baking sheet and roast for 8 minutes, or until the skin is blistered on the vegetables. When the serrano and tomato are cool enough to handle, peel them and dice.
In a medium bowl, combine the avocado, salt, and lime juice. Mix well to completely incorporate all the ingredients. Fold in the serrano, tomato, red onion, and cilantro.
Add in ingredient options
¼ cup roasted corn (add to existing recipe)
1 chipotle pepper, minced (replacing the serrano)
2 T ancho chile (rehydrated and minced, replacing the serrano)
Recipe courtesy Chef Curtis Cooke -- Golden Door spa