The Chef-Approved Dessert To Pair With BBQ Ribs For Textural Contrast

Brushing saucy ribs on grill
Brushing saucy ribs on grill - Frank Armstrong/Getty Images

If you're planning a meal around grilled ribs, which are one of the all-time backyard cookout classics, some of the must-have barbecue sides include cornbread, macaroni and cheese, baked beans, and potato salad, while for dessert you could always go Southern style with pecan pie, peach cobbler, or banana pudding. If you'd prefer a chef-recommended sweet course, however, Rich Parente of Brewster, New York's Clock Tower Grill has a rather surprising pick. Parente, who both owns and cooks at the New American eatery, declares, "After eating ribs, I like a nice cup o' dirt for dessert."

A cup o'what? Parente goes on to clarify the statement, saying: "These cups of chocolate pudding topped with crushed Oreos and gummy worms remind me of summertime, plus they're fun to eat." Not only does the pudding and crushed cookie combo feel nostalgic to him, but he also admits: "I enjoy the hunt for the crushed-up bits of Oreos that are mixed into the pudding and underneath the chewy gummy worms." As to why this dessert gets the nod as a post-barbecue meal ender, he tells us, "The crunchy Oreo bits are especially nice after eating fall-off-the-bone tender ribs." That checks out -- after a meal of soft meat and squishy sides, a crunchy dessert will tell your teeth you haven't forgotten all about them.

Read more: 13 Store-Bought Ice Cream Bars Ranked From Worst To Best

Dirt Desserts Come In Different Shapes And Sizes

Halloween dirt cake
Halloween dirt cake - Traci Mills Baudin / Instagram

If Rich Parente's dessert idea appeals but you'd prefer something larger than single-serve pudding and crumb cups, you can always make an entire dirt cake by layering crushed cookies, pudding, and whipped topping in a 13 x 9-inch cake pan instead of individual serving containers. A dirt cake would allow you to get more elaborate with the toppings, too -- add some additional insects of the gummy or plastic variety or go with a whole gardening theme using miniature toy watering cans, rakes, and any vaguely produce-shaped candies you can find. If it's Halloween, you could always make a graveyard dirt cake by planting cookie tombstones and plastic skeletons or zombies in a top layer of crushed cookies. For summertime, use crushed vanilla sandwich cookies to turn a dirt cake into a sandy beach cake accessorized with paper parasols.

If you're not into nostalgic children's party vibes, you can also turn dirt cake into something a little more sophisticated by making it a dirt trifle. It's the same basic idea, alternating layers of pudding, cookie crumbs, and whipped topping, but you'll also add some layers of fruit such as bananas, raspberries, or strawberries and arrange the whole thing in a pretty serving bowl (preferably see-through). Skip the gummy worm topping, too, in favor of more fruit or perhaps a whipped cream layer lightly dusted with (rather than buried in) cookie crumbs.

Read the original article on Mashed.