Small mining towns often offer big surprises. Prospectors struck it rich in the mining boomtown of Rico in Southwest Colorado in the 1800s and early 1900s. If you’re looking to strike it rich with an unforgettable meal, head to the Prospector along the San Juan Skyway, just 28 miles from Telluride.
I wasn’t expecting to find a restaurant that rivals any big city one in a mountain town that’s barely a dot on the map with less than 300 people. With culinary chops including sous chef at Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles, Chef Eamonn O’Hara is dishing up some scrumptious eats at the Prospector. Folks drive from all over Southwest Colorado to eat O’Hara’s ever-changing menu of modern American cuisine.
The first thing I tried was the spinach artichoke dip. It was so good, I had it another night during a three-night stay in Rico. It’s insanely addictive. If you want to WOW your summer party guests, make this dip!
The Prospector’s Spinach Artichoke Dip
*Note: portions are for 8 servings, so if want less, half or quarter amounts
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced yellow onion
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon white vinegar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
8 ounces can artichoke quarters plus brine
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 pound feta cheese crumbles
8 ounces goat cheese
8 ounces grated white cheddar
2 ounces grated Parmesan
8 ounces frozen Spinach-defrosted and drained
In a medium sized stainless steel or Teflon saucepan sweat the garlic and onion with the canola oil for 1 minute over medium heat.
Deglaze pan with the white vinegar until vinegar smell is neutralized.
Turn heat to low and add butter and allow it to melt then mix in flour and cook for 5 another minutes.
Pour in brine and mix until smooth-Pour in milk and cream and cook until mixture is smooth approximately 5 more minutes.
Add cheeses, artichoke quarters, and spinach and continue cooking until ingredients come back to the boil.
Adjust seasonings with salt and white pepper.
Serve with garlic bread.