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James Briscione's unique ways to freshen up your backyard barbecue

Grilled Potato Salad
Serves 4

1 lb fingerling potatoes
Olive oil, as needed
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 red onions cut into ½ inch slices
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh dill

Cut the potatoes in half , place in a large pot, cover with cold water and bring the pot to rolling boil. Turn the pot off and pour into a colander to drain.  Toss the potatoes with olive oil and the salt. Place the potatoes on a hot grill and cooked until just browned. Place the potatoes on a baking pan and leave to cool.
While the potatoes cool, brush the onions with oil and place on the grill to cook until charred on both sides. Chopped the grilled onions and toss with the potatoes. Add the lemon, dill and Miracle Whip. Mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Grilled Avocado and Romaine Hearts Salad with Buttermilk Herb Dressing and Blue Cheese
Serves 6

1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2-3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1-2 dashes Tabasco
¼ cup sour cream 
¾ cup buttermilk
2 tablespoons finely grated parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chives, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
3 heads of romaine, cut in half
2 avocado
½ cup blue cheese crumbles
1 cup red radishes, thinly sliced

Combine the garlic, lemon juice, worchestershire and Tabasco in a bowl, mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
In a separate bowl, combine the sour cream, buttermilk, parmesan, chives and basil. Whisk in the garlic and lemon mixture; season to taste with salt and pepper.
Rub the grates of a hot grill with oil and place the romaine, cut side down, over direct heat. Grill just until marks appear, about 1 minute.
Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the avocado from the skin with a large spoon, brush with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook the avocado hales on a hot grill until lightly colored.
Arrange the grilled romaine on a platter, slice the avocado and scatter around the lettuce. Spoon the buttermilk over the lettuces. Garnish with blue cheese crumbles and sliced radishes.

Margarita Brined Chicken
Serves 6

Brine ingredients
½ cup tequila (optional- may be replaced with water)
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
Zest of 1 lime, lime reserved
2 cups cold water

4 boneless chicken breasts
grapeseed  or vegetable oil, as needed
sea salt, as needed (optional)

Place the tequila in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the salt and sugar. When dissolved, pour into a large pan or bowl and add the lime zest and water. Add the chicken to the brine and refrigerate until ready to cook. Leave to brine a minimum 2 hours, or up to 24 hours.
When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry. Brush or lightly coat the chicken with grapeseed oil and cook on a hot grill, 3-4 minutes per side, turning each of the slices 90˚ halfway through the cooking time on each side to create hashmarks. Remove to a cooling rack to rest.

Bourbon Roasted Plums with Vanilla Ice Cream
Yield: Serves 6

Zest (in large strips) and juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons water
½ vanilla bean, split or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 fl oz bourbon
6 plums, pitted, cut in half
Vanilla ice cream

Preheat oven to 375˚ F
Combine the lemon juice and zest cinnamon butter and sugar in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When the mixture begins to simmer and the sugar melts, add the vanilla, bourbon and plums.
Cook the fruit gently, basting with the light caramel until just tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. Serve in bowls over ice cream.

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