Those lazy days of summer are here and, when it comes to cooking dinner for your family, there’s nothing like keeping it easy this time of year.  Our friends at Heinen’s Fine Foods in Barrington are all about finding creative ways to bring delicious meals to our tables without spending hours in the kitchen.  With Heinen’s help, we’ve produced a series of three stories about summer grilling that we’ll be publishing in the coming days, starting with a look at some simple ways to prepare dinner in minutes for our families.

Heinen's Fine Foods - 100 N. Hough Street in Barrington, Illinois
Heinen’s Fine Foods – 100 N. Hough Street in Barrington, Illinois

When it comes to keeping it easy, we reached out to some of Heinen’s culinary experts for some specific suggestions. They were up for a little hand holding and shared some easy tips and ideas for foods found at the store that can be grilled quickly with no fuss preparation.

Eric Besselman at Heinen's Barrington
Eric Besselman at Heinen’s Barrington

Heinen’s corporate meat merchandiser Eric Besselman manages the various meat products found in the company’s stores.  Heinen’s Premium Beef is humanely raised, without hormones, and a product of the U.S.A.

Eric says, when it comes to Heinen’s meats, they’re always coming up with ways to make cooking easy.

“Whether it’s marinating the kabobs and pork tenderloin, cutting the rack of lamb so it’s just right or preparing our gourmet burgers for you to take home and put right on the grill, we try to do that prep work so you can just go home and cook it.”  Eric was quick to recommend Heinen’s stuffed ranch steak, one of his own personal favorites, for a fresh approach to summertime dinner.

“It’s a shoulder, ranch cut steak and a very thin and quick cooking cut that’s very tender when prepared this way.  And it’s like a meal in one.  You’ve got Heinen’s Own beef with a minced garlic and oil rub on the inside along with roasted tomatoes, mozzarella and grilled asparagus and it’s just fantastic.  Our customers love it.”

Heinen's Stuffed Ranch Steak
Heinen’s Stuffed Ranch Steak

For a few summer grilling tips from Heinen’s Seafood department, we called the company’s Seafood Manager, Marty Gaul.

Seafood Manager, Marty Gaul
Seafood Manager, Marty Gaul

It’s Marty’s job to find the freshest seafood products for all of Heinen’s locations.

She’s in charge of ordering the catch-of-the-day shipment from fishermen, which is overnighted to Heinen’s stores.

Marty says, when it comes to seafood, there are so many great options for easy summer grilling including salmon, swordfish, tuna, mahi-mahi and any seafood with a more meaty texture that can stand up to grilling.

“The seafood case is wide open.  You could use absolutely anything fresh that is in our case.

But this time of year, the wild Alaskan salmon is very popular because it’s fresh, delivered direct overnight and will remain in season through August.”

For a quick, simple and delicious family dinner with seafood as the starring ingredient, Marty recommends a family taco night with great grilled seafood.  “You can grill salmon, swordfish and shrimp plus veggies or pineapple, put out all the taco fixins and let the fun begin.”

Family Taco Night with Heinen's Grilled Seafood
Family Taco Night with Heinen’s Grilled Seafood

Whether you feel like throwing meat, seafood or veggies on the grill, the in-store chef at Heinen’s Barrington, Tim Stadnik, says his best tip for seasoning is simple.

Chef Tim Stadnik at Heinen's in Barrington
Chef Tim Stadnik at Heinen’s in Barrington – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Tim sticks with salt, pepper and a secret Heinen’s ingredient. “Our own Two Brothers Seasoning is Heinen’s own recipe and very good on either meat or seafood.” It’s an all-purpose, all-natural and gluten-free blend of salt, sugar, spices, garlic and herbs including marjoram, rosemary and thyme.

Heinen's Two Brothers Seasoning - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Heinen’s Two Brothers Seasoning – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Chef Tim spends his days preparing items for Heinen’s meat and prepared foods counters. Before he came to Heinen’s in Barrington, he spent 16 years working as an executive chef at a 5-star restaurant in Cleveland, Ohio. So when it comes to cooking 5-star meals for our own homes, Tim has us covered.

Chef Tim Stadnik Stocks the Prepared Foods Counter at Heinen's - Photographed by Julie Linnekin
Chef Tim Stadnik Stocks the Prepared Foods Counter at Heinen’s – Photographed by Julie Linnekin

Stay tuned for Parts 2 & 3 in our Summer Grilling series with Heinen’s Fine Foods, when we’ll be sharing some juicy tips for Summer Backyard Entertaining, just in time for the 4th of July.

Heinen’s Fine Foods is located at the Shops at Flint Creek, 500 N. Hough Street, in Barrington, Illinois. They’re now open from 8:00 a.m. To 8:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Click HERE to follow them on Facebook or find them online at

Heinen's Fine Foods in Barrington, Illinois
Heinen’s Fine Foods in Barrington, Illinois

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