I must say, I never cooked with coconut milk growing up. It’s not a very common ingredient in Puerto Rican savory dishes. The only time I ever remember eating coconut related food as a child, it was always in a dessert of some sort, like flan, coquito, coconut candies or macaroons. So after meeting the hubby, I learned that many dishes from his dad’s hometown, Barranquilla, Colombia use coconut milk. His favorite coconut-based dish is something called Arroz con Coco y Pasas or Arroz con Titote. So, in an effort to make a truly authentic version of this dish, I decided to venture out on a limb and make homemade coconut milk. The results were awesome! Whenever possible, I like using fresh ingredients in my recipes. Most canned and refrigerated coconut milks contain a slew of preservatives, thickeners, or stabilizers, and I’m not interested in having these in my foods. So if you’re a fan of coconut milk, try this recipe!
Check out my coconut. It’s a beauty! Don’t know how to pick a good one? Pick it up and shake it. If you hear a good amount of sloshing liquid inside, that’s a good sign. It should also feel heavy for its size.
Using a clean screw driver and a hammer, pierce a hole into each of the 3 “eyes” of the coconut.
Drain the coconut water inside.
Once the water is drained, place the coconut on a clean kitchen towel. Wrap the towel around the coconut, and prepare to bash away!
Bash the heck out of the coconut with a hammer or meat mallet, and separate the meat from the shell using a knife or a spoon.
Chop up the coconut meat into chunks and toss the coconut pieces into a blender.
Pour in the hot water and blend on high for 1 minute.
Pour the water/coconut pulp mixture into a strainer. Using a spatula, press the pulp down and extract as much liquid as you can.
Don’t toss that pulp away yet! There’s still a lot of liquid trapped. Pour the pulp onto the cheese cloth, wrap it into a tight ball, and squeeze every last drop out.
You’re done! Pour the coconut milk into a storage container, and refrigerate. Use within 2 days.