What You Should Know
This is a very large mushroom very similar to Boletus Rubriceps. It was named after Chuck Barrows who originally discovered this species in New Mexico. This mushroom is often hidden under the pine needles and difficult to find young specimens. Bugs really like them and they're often not visible until its too late.
Like most other members of the species group it features a robust, finely reticulate stem and a non-bruising pore surface. The pores, when young, are "stuffed" in appearance, and white—and the flesh does not turn to blue when sliced. Boletus barrowsii also differs from other edulis-like species in not having a clearly defined cap skin (a "cuticle" in Mycologese).
Other names: White King Bolete.
Boletus barrowsii Mushroom Identification
Mycorrhizal with ponderosa pine and occasionally with spruces in the Southwest and in Colorado — and with coast live oak on the West Coast; growing alone, scattered, or gregariously; summer and fall (monsoon season) in the Southwest — fall and winter on the West Coast; ranging as far north as British Columbia.
5–16 cm; convex, becoming broadly convex or almost flat; dry; dull; bald; whitish, becoming pale brownish with age.
Whitish and appearing "stuffed" when young; becoming yellow and eventually olive-yellow; not bruising; 1–2 pores per mm at maturity; tubes to 2 cm deep.
5–15 cm long; 2–5 cm thick; club-shaped when young, but usually become more or less equal by maturity; solid; whitish; not bruising, but sometimes becoming brownish with age; finely reticulate over the upper portion or nearly overall.
White; not staining on exposure.
Spore Print: Olive brown.
Cleaning Fresh Boletus barrowsii
The minimum use of water is important. Try not to allow water to enter the pore surface, for it tends to absorb a great deal of moisture. Remove any dark parts of the mushroom. Brush off the caps of Boletus and Leccinum. Peel off slimy tops of Suillus. If old, gently separate the spongy material from below the cap, using your finger or a knife, and peel off carefully. Check the underside of the cap for wormholes. If there are many, discard the cap. If only a few exist, use the parts not affected.
Cooking Fresh Boletus barrowsii
These mushrooms can be slippery. To reduce this quality, quickly fry slices in oil or butter. The simplest method of preparation is to sauté them in olive oil and butter, then add a rich brown sauce and serve as a side dish with steak, broiled chicken, or fish. Or layer fried mushrooms over rice, or baked, or mashed potatoes. Another way to quickly prepare boletes is to dip thick slices in beaten eggs, then dust in seasoned bread crumbs for deep-frying.
Recipe: White King Bolete in Cream Sauce over Pasta
1 knob butter
1-2 shallots, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large king bolete, chopped
salt and pepper
1 lb. pasta
parmesan for grating
How to cook
Get that pot on the boil. Meanwhile, as the water's heating up, finely chop a couple shallots (or an equivalent amount of yellow onion if that's what you have on hand) and saute in butter.
Mince a clove or two of garlic and add to the saute.
Chop up a large porcino or a few buttons and add to the saute, cooking
for 5 minutes or so over medium-high and stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper.
Deglaze with a splash of vermouth, then reduce heat to medium-low and stir in heavy cream to taste. The pasta should be nearly done.
Drain pasta and serve. Pour porcini cream sauce over pasta, then sprinkle generously with grated parmesan cheese and a pinch of chopped parsley.
Photo 1 - Author: Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C., USA (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
Photo 2 - Author: Katja Schulz from Washington, D. C., USA (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)
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