So far this summer, I have harvested about 2 1/2 pounds of jalapeños. Pickling these medium-hot peppers in vinegar is a fast and easy way to preserve them. These are much better than the canned ones that are found at grocery stores. To retain their crisp texture, jalapeños are picked once they turn a shiny dark green color. If left on the plant, the peppers will eventually turn red. It is best to pickle jalapeños before they change colors because fully-ripe red ones, while sweeter, end up softer than the green ones.
I use jalapeños for nachos, homemade salsas and as a topping for hamburgers and hot dogs. Once this batch is ready, I will use the peppers to make Jalapeño-Cheddar Cheese Bread or cornbread.
1 pound fresh jalapeno peppers, washed*
2 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 cups white distilled or cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
3 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons black peppercorns
Stab each pepper three times with a sharp paring knife to prevent them from collapsing and to let the brine inside the pepper. Place them in a glass preserving jar.
In a non-reactive saucepan, bring the other ingredients to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for five minutes.
Remove from heat and pour the brine over the peppers. Place the lid on the jar and let cool. Once cool, refrigerate for at least a week before using, if possible.
Storage: Pickles like this will keep for up to a few weeks, under refrigeration, without any problems. But like anything preserved, you should take precautions. If you wish to preserve them for a longer period, follow proper canning procedures.
*You can use another type of pepper or a mixture of Banana, Cherry, or Hungarian peppers, in place of the jalapeños.