1. Split a coconut with a sharp cleaver. Use a mature, brown coconut, rather than a young green one.
2. Scrape the meat of the coconut from the shell. Use a coconut scraper, sharp paring knife, or a sturdy metal spoon. Removing the meat is tricky. A butter knife is much better than a sharp paring knife. You can slide it in between the meat and the shell and ‘pop’ pieces off, rather than slip, and cut your hand.
3. Cut the coconut meat into small pieces or shred the coconut flesh with the scraper.
4. Place the pieces into a food processor.
5. Turn on the food processor to a medium speed and blend until well shredded.Add a little water to help it blend if necessary.
6. Filter the coconut milk. Put a coffee filter or cheesecloth over a wide-mouth jar. Pour or spoon a small amount of the coconut mixture onto the cloth. Wrap the cloth around the coconut mixture and squeeze the milk into the jar.