I love pickled peppers, from Peter Piper or anybody else with good ones to spare…
When chile season hits, you can easily get overwhelmed with the bounty. You should always share, but don’t forget to put up as many as you can; they’re perfect for drying, freezing, and canning, though peppers require pressure canning to do them safely. If you’re interested in that, head on over to the National Center for Home Food Preservation, (NCHFP), and learn how.
On the other hand, pickling those peppers means you can use a simple water bath canning method, and that puts things in the do-able realm for just about all of us. Again, here’s the how to from the NCHFP.
Easier yet is a quick pickle or fridge pickle; this method is ready to eat in a day or two, and will last a month safely when refrigerated. Here’s our go-to recipe that works great for any hot chile.
NOTE: You can use any vinegar you like for this recipe. Plain white will give a tangier, more sour chile, while apple cider or red wine will give a sweeter one. Rice vinegar is the mildest option. Herb infused vinegars are just fine if you like the flavors.
4 Cups fresh Chiles
1 1/2 Cups Vinegar, (See note above)
1 1/2 Cups fresh Water
2-3 Cloves Garlic
2 Tablespoons whole Peppercorns, (The 4 color blend is great here)
2 Tablespoons Pickling Salt
2 Tablespoons Agave Nectar or Honey
1 Tablespoon whole Coriander Seed
1 Tablespoon whole Mustard seed (Brown, yellow, or both)
2 whole Bay Leaves
1 teaspoon whole Juniper berries
You can leave chiles while or cut them into rings. Pickling will cool the heat of really hot chiles somewhat, but if you prefer yours more tamed still, cut chiles into halves, quarters, or rings and remove the seeds and membranes.
You can leave chiles whole, remove the tops and just the end of the bottoms, and field strip them if you like, but it is a bit more labor intensive.
Pack chiles into a sanitized 1 quart canning jar. Boiling water, or a dishwasher cycle will do the trick; include the ring and lid top as well.
In a large pot over high heat, combine all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.
Carefully pour hot brine over peppers; a canning funnel is super helpful, cheap and easy to find.
Seal the jar and allow the chiles to cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate for at least 24 hours, (48 is better yet), before chowing down.