The Daley Question

Can guacamole be frozen?

You probably shouldn't, but there are alternatives for enjoying this treat

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Guacamole

Guacamole (Chicago Tribune / March 30, 2005)

Q: Can you freeze guacamole?

—Claudia Perry, Evanston

A: Yes, but you shouldn't. That's what two experts told me.

"Technically you can freeze guacamole. But I don't recommend it," writes Rick Bayless, the celebrity chef, Chicago restaurateur, author and television star, via e-mail. "Exposing avocados to extreme heat or extreme cold changes their flavor. Besides, many of the mix-ins you probably have in your guacamole may become mushy when frozen-then-thawed (I'm looking at you, tomatoes)."

Daisy Martinez, the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based television cooking show host and author, suggests making the "salsa" portion of the guacamole the day before. "Then fold in lightly mashed avocado right before serving," in a message via Facebook.

But if you really insist on freezing avocados, Bayless recommends you make a sweet avocado ice. The recipe follows..

"It's not guacamole but it's delicious,'' he writes.

Avocado ice (nieve de aguacate)

Makes 8 servings

A recipe from the ninth season of Rick Bayless' television cooking series, "Mexico: One Plate at a Time." This recipe, among others, may be found at the celebrity chef's website: rickbayless.com.

2 1/4 cups sugar

8 medium or 5 large very ripe avocados

1/2 cup fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 Set a medium (3-quart) saucepan over medium high and add the sugar with 1 1/4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

2 Cut the avocados in half, running a knife around the pit from top to bottom and back up again. Twist the halves in opposite directions to release the pit from one side. Remove the pit, then scoop the flesh from each half into a food processor or blender and process until the avocado is completely smooth. You will need 3 cups of avocado puree.

3 Add the cooled syrup, lime juice and salt to the avocado and process until everything is well mixed.

4 Pour the mixture into the canister of your ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's directions. The ice will have the best texture if scooped into a container and placed in a freezer to firm up for 3 or 4 hours.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: wdaley@tribune.com. Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.

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