Since these are a quick pickle rather than a preserved pickle, they need to be kept in the refrigerator, but they'll last quite a long time.
Once pickled, they're not quite the same as using a fresh pepper in a recipe, but they're not that much different particularly if you're adding just a little pepper. The tiny bit of tartness from the vinegar won't make a significant difference in most recipes.
If you want hotter peppers, leave in more of the ribs and toss seeds into the jar, as well. If you want milder pepper, I suggest removing all the seeds and as much of the ribs as possible.
Either way, I suggest wearing gloves when you handle the peppers. They probably won't bother your hands, but you'll be sorry if you rub your eye or touch any other sensitive body parts.
Pickled Habanero Peppers
4 ounces fresh habanero peppers
1 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Cut the peppers in half through the stem, then remove the stem along with as much of the seeds and ribs as you like.
Keep in mind that the heat is in the ribs and seeds, so the more you leave, the hotter the peppers will be. Pack the peppers you will pickle into a pint jar.
Combine the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan or microwave-safe container - I used a glass measuring cup. Heat to a boil. Stir to make sure the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Pour the hot liquid into the jar with the peppers.
Put the lid on, let it cool to room temperature, and refrigerate. These are ready as soon as they're chilled.
Melissa's sent me these peppers at no cost to me. I used one pepper for an enchilada sauce for chicken enchiladas. Check out that recipe, too!