A Peck Of Pickled Peppers
Updated March 2020
Ok, so it’s not a peck… just how much is a peck anyways, and why was Peter picking them if they were already pickled? I can’t answer those questions for you, but I can tell you how to pickle them yourself.
Ok, I know my kitchen isn’t the best spot for great photos, but c’mon… these look great. And they’ll taste even better once I’ve let them pickle for a few days. And there really are a lot of great reasons to pickle your own peppers…
I’ve done batches of nice fresh refrigerator pickles in the past, so I figured I could do the same for the jalapenos, right? Take advantage of your own garden or get some from the farmers market and your jalapenos will just be bursting with flavor and have that fresh, crisp bite to them you just can’t get from the ones you buy.
It’s not that there’s anything really wrong with what’s in most of the store-bought jalapenos, it’s more of a texture thing. The canning process means cooking, which can leave the jalapenos a bit on the soggy side. Doing your own is easy and they tend to maintain that crispness.
If you don’t have canning jars around… save some old pickle jars or something. I have an old gallon-sized jar that came from a friend that works in a restaurant that I use that for doing larger batches that I’ll then split up and share with folks. But this recipe here works great for filling a quart-sized canning jar. If you are NOT using an actual canning jar, be VERY careful. Pre-warm the jar by filling with some hot tap water and put the jar in a bowl or in the sink when adding the vinegar to minimize the risk of thermal shock breaking the glass.
Over the years, I’ve figured out that about 10 regular sized jalapeno peppers fit nicely in a quart-sized jar when sliced. It’s about a pound, but sometimes you get some really large ones and will need less, or if they’re smaller the slices compact in the jar and you’ll fit more. But buy extra, you can always use more jalapenos, right?
These will keep a lot of their color and a nice crisp crunch for about a month. They’ll still stay fresh and taste great for another month or more, but the longer you have them around, the more they are sitting in the liquid, the softer they will get. Mine rarely last more than a few weeks. If you don’t think you’ll use that much, feel free to do a half batch using a pint-sized jar instead.
I still buy the occasional jar in the store when in a pinch, but they really are no match for the overall experience of making your own. And if you want you can try adding things like carrot slices or other veggies to get them infused with the jalapeno heat. It’s a great way to use up some of the peppers from your own garden or if you get a great deal on some from the local farmers market.
Also, when you are close to or out of your current batch, save the vinegar. I will use about half of the existing vinegar and top off with fresh. It doesn’t really add anything flavor-wise, but the vinegar is still strong enough that you don’t have to just waste it all by tossing it.