Saturday, March 15, 2014

skills test - how to prepare a coconut



Now I know what you're thinking. Does this mean I have to get my jackhammer out? No silly let's leave the jackhammers for the roads please. Cracking open a coconut is much easier than you think but i can't blame you, even I was a little intimidated at first. It used to be before when I was at the supermarket, I would always try to avoid the coconuts. I couldn't help but feel their "eyes" staring at me, all of them judging and sizing me up, kind of like high-school. But, today I summed up all my courage and went to pick one up and guess what? I lived to tell the tale. 

In this lesson I'll be showing you how to crack the code on a mature coconut. This variety of coconut is what you would picture hanging from a palm tree, or at least what I picture. These are not to be confused with a young coconut which are white and look like a pentagon. So today's blog post isn't so much a recipe as it is a very helpful skill. On a sidenote, if you're ever stranded on a deserted island you can thank me for saving your life. I kid I kid - but seriously. 


As easy and tempting as it is to buy just pre-packaged coconut, I think this is something all of us should try at least once in our lifetimes. Whether that be for fun or necessity...

So first things first you need to buy your coconut, which is pretty much the same as adopting a child. You need to shake it around to see if the inside has water. If it does, you know your kid is alive. If it doesn't then set it down and move on, there are plenty more live nuts to choose from. Once you've found a full coconut, you need to look into it's eyes. If there aren't any mold or bugs in them then you're good. Take that one home and get on with the prepping. 



Also I think you should know that if you forget to pay for your coconut it's technically kidnap so do remember to fill out the required paperwork. 

Take your baby and locate it's eyes. Notice that it has three of them. That means someone shouldn't have been drinking while they were pregnant. I'm just joking it's completely normal. One of those eyes will be soft enough for a sharp paring knife to go through. Once you have inserted the knife, twist, thrust, and jab it until you have cleared out a straight shot to the innards of your nut. 



OMG That looks 100 times creepier than before! We just gave it a mouth!

Calm done Chef, find your inner Chow. Okay Phew.
Believe it or not now you can pour out the coconut water.





Coconut water is supposed to be super good for you, filled with electrolytes to keep you moving, but not only that, it taste delicious. That's acutally a mandatory step, you have to taste the water. If you've never had coconut water before it has a tropically, some people say bready taste to it, which has some getting used to. If you don't want yours send it to me. But the real reason why I want you to taste it is to check if your coconut has gone spoiled. We've all been there. You say you're going to make it but then you're too lazy to and then by then you've forgotten why you ever bought it but then you remember but then...take a deep breath. It's been three months. That type of spoiled.

Be objective as you can be and if it taste slightly sour then you should switch to your back-up coconut. Which knowing you, you bought the same time you bought the first one because you were lazy. So just go to the store and abduct some new ones.



A coconut has a natural line around the circumference of the nut. This is the weakest part of the coconut and, where you should be hammering away. Hold the coconut in your non dominant hand, and go all donkey kong on it. It's a great way to get all your bundled up anger out. You don't want to hammer on your countertop because that could end really badly. 


Once you crack the top off you should have two similarly sized halves. Wrap the two pieces with a kitchen towel securely, so as to not have any shards of coconut fly at you from under. Smash away. 

You should have shards of coconut husk and flesh. Take the same paring knife you used before and slide the knife between the flesh and the husk. Pry it off by using the good old force of leverage and throw into a bowl of water. When you are done removing the flesh rinse them well and Ta-da.



At this point I have to apologize. While I was taking pictures my hand slipped from under me and the camera slammed against the side of the table. I don't want to make any assumptions but I think it's broken. That's also why the picture before is so blurry because I used my computer's webcam. The good news is we are nearing the end of this lesson, but the bad news is now I have to find a new camera. May I suggest an early christmas present to my secret santas out there?



All there is left to do is chop, blend, or my favorite grate the coconut - I think I'm the first one to ever try grating coconut ;) - into your desired shape. You can totally toast these and garnish on cookies or muffins. Or you could make american macaroons, not the french ones, which I will demo sometime in the near future. The possibilities are endless. Except, DO not want to do is put it in a smoothie. Mature coconut flesh is much more fibrous than a young coconut's which is the preferred nut for this application. Other than that though, the possibilities are endless! 



But that is it for this post, if you liked it or just like me give it an ol' thumbs up and subscribe to the blog. Check back soon when I use this flesh to make a beautiful coconut bundt cake which is to die for so stay tuned. And as always, 

Chow!

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