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Recipe: Counter the winter chill with this farro and mushroom gratin

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Recipe: Counter the winter chill with this farro and mushroom gratin

Quick-cooking farro, with its nutty flavor and plump, chewy texture, is the darling of the grain bowl, the star of countless salads and the foundation of many traditional Italian soups.

It’s also pretty wonderful mixed with mushrooms and cheese, and baked into a golden-topped gratin.

Other than homey rice bakes, there aren’t a lot of grain gratin recipes, possibly because grains are already filling enough, needing no extra heft from the addition of dairy and eggs.

But in the depths of winter, when rib-sticking dishes are at their most appealing, a farro and mushroom gratin can be exactly right. And this one works on its own, served as a meatless main course (maybe rounded out with a crisp green salad), or as a rich side dish alongside chicken or fish.

The most efficient way to make this recipe is to work through the steps concurrently. While the farro simmers away in one pot, you can brown the mushrooms in a skillet. Just be sure to get them deeply bronzed so they condense and caramelize.

After that, the shallots need only a brief stint in that same skillet, just enough so they’re tender and sweet.

I added mascarpone to give this gratin an especially creamy core, but feel free to substitute crème fraîche. The mascarpone is plusher and denser, but the pronounced tanginess of crème fraîche can be a nice contrast to the earthiness of the farro and mushrooms.

One thing to keep in mind is that farro can differ wildly among brands. Most of what you’ll find in the United States is pearled, or semi-pearled, meaning that some or all of the bran has been removed so it’s quicker to cook. But you can also use whole-grain farro. It will take longer to soften (about an hour or so), but it’s a lot more nutritious, and chewier, too, in a good way. Wheat berries and barley will also make fine substitutes. And if you’re looking for something gluten-free, try wild rice or brown rice. Gratins like this one are easy to adapt.

On that note, you can also change up the vegetables. Leftover roasted cauliflower, winter squash or Brussels sprouts will all work nicely, as will garlicky sautéed kale, and they make this warming dinner even easier to prepare — though no less satisfying to eat.

Farro and Mushroom Gratin

Total time: 45 minutes

In this elegant gratin, nutty farro and earthy mushrooms are baked with herbs and mascarpone into a creamy casserole topped with Gruyère. It’s a rich, meatless meal that needs nothing more than a crisp green salad to round it out, though it’s also a satisfying side dish alongside roast chicken or fish. You can prepare the entire gratin earlier in the day (leave it at room temperature), then bake it just before serving — simply add a little extra time to ensure that it emerges from the oven steaming hot through and through. Note that if you’re using tangy crème fraîche instead of mascarpone, you may not need the lemon. Taste before squeezing.

  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups pearled or semi-pearled farro
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1 pound mixed mushrooms (such as oyster, maitake, portobello, shiitake or cremini), cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6 to 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots, leeks or onion
  • 1 cup mascarpone or crème fraîche
  • 1 cup chopped parsley leaves and tender stems, chives, mint or cilantro
  • 8 ounces shredded Gruyère (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring a medium pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

2. Add farro to the pot, and cook according to package directions until tender (which should be about 20 to 30 minutes). Drain well in a colander. While still warm (and leaving the farro in the colander, if you like), drizzle the grains with enough olive oil to coat lightly, tossing well to prevent from sticking. Set aside.

3. While farro is cooking, prepare the mushrooms: In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high until hot but not smoking. Add enough of the mushrooms to cover the skillet in one layer without crowding and half the thyme. Cook, undisturbed, until bottoms of the mushrooms are golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir and let brown on the other side, 2 to 3 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to transfer mushrooms and thyme to a plate, and season with salt and pepper. Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pan and repeat with another layer of mushrooms and thyme, adding them to the plate when done. Repeat with more mushrooms if necessary.

4. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to skillet and stir in shallots and a large pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté until tender and golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes.

5. Remove skillet from heat and return mushrooms to the pan (discarding the thyme sprigs). Stir in farro, mascarpone and 3/4 cup parsley. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if needed. Spread mixture evenly in the skillet and sprinkle Gruyère on top. Bake until the farro is hot and Gruyère is melted, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil for 1 to 2 minutes until Gruyère starts to bubble and develop brown spots.

6. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing on top, if you’d like.

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Lynx guard Aerial Powers breaks out of slump with help from … Michael Jordan

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Lynx guard Aerial Powers breaks out of slump with help from … Michael Jordan

Aerial Powers hadn’t experienced a shooting slump since she was in college at Michigan State, and even that stretch may not have rivaled her early-season struggles this spring.

Through five games, the shooting guard made just 14 of 57 shots from the field — 24.6 percent — and 2 of 15 from deep. Not good.

Powers wasn’t feeling well ahead of Thursday’s game in Las Vegas. She was congested with cold-like symptoms, and Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve asked Powers if she felt like maybe she wanted to sit the game out.

Not a chance. She was playing.

Reeve and Lynx wing Bridget Carleton then reminded Powers of Michael Jordan’s famous “flu game,” in which he scored 38 points in an NBA Finals game after apparently battling a stiff case of food poisoning.

That was an ironic message from teammate and coach, given the person Powers reached out to the night before the game was Michael Jordan.

“I texted Michael Jordan (on Wednesday) night, and I told him, ‘I’m shooting bad. I’m in a shooting slump. I’ve never been in a shooting slump before,’ ” Powers said.

She was out of answers. Powers had made a point to put in extra work, getting up additional shots before and after practice. But the reps weren’t leading to results.

Jordan said that Powers was pressing.

“He said, ‘Let the game come to you,’ ” Powers said.

He didn’t want Powers putting up even more practice reps — she was clearly doing the requisite work, so that wasn’t the issue. She just needed to relax. Powers said she felt like she did that in Tuesday’s victory over the Sparks, yet she went 1 for 9 in that game, including a number of missed open looks.

“And he said, ‘That’s OK, just take a break and let the game come to you,’ ” Powers said.

So that’s what Powers tried to do in Las Vegas. The result was a breakout offensive performance in which she scored a season-high 25 points on 9-for-21 shooting.

“I just relaxed and played my game,” Powers said, “so, shoutout to Michael Jordan.”

It was exactly the advice she needed to hear. Because during the slump, Powers said every miss just felt “heavier and heavier.”

“I felt like in the last couple of games, it’s like every miss felt like it was another brick on my back,” Powers said.

Jordan reminded her that it’s OK to miss shots. It’s part of the game. Powers put that advice into practice. When she missed a good look, she thought ‘Whatever,’ then went back to playing defense and didn’t hesitate to put up a shot on her next good look. It was a healthier way to approach the game.

“Those few games where I was like 1 of 10, 1 of 12, it was like, ‘OK, what the hell is going on?’ ” Powers said. “Now I’m tense in all my shots, and I don’t want to feel that way. You shouldn’t feel like that.”

You want to feel the way Powers felt Thursday. She did say she wanted to get another good performance under her belt before she felt the proverbial monkey was off her back.

“I definitely feel like I’m shaking that monkey off me a little bit,” Powers said. “I put a lot of work in that maybe people don’t see. So it’s not like I can’t shoot, I think I was just in my head a little more than usual. Because usually I’m a confident player, and I wasn’t playing with that confidence. So just relaxing and letting the game come to me.”

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SWAT Season 6: When Will The Show Premiere In 2022? Is It Worth Waiting?

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SWAT Season 6: When Will The Show Premiere In 2022? Is It Worth Waiting?

S.W.A.T. is an action-drama series created by Shawn Ryan and Aaron Rahsaan Thomas and runs on C.B.S. Other similar series airing on C.B.S. did not last very long, but S.W.A.T. seems to have hit the right spot with fans. The show follows the story of officer Daniel “Hondo” Harrelson, who is promoted to team leader after a bad shooting and jumping a few stairs to get there. The show banks on the “adventure of the week” format, which keeps the viewers tied.

C.B.S produces S.W.A.T. Studios, along with Original Film and Sony Pictures Television. The executive producers are Neal H. Moritz, Shawn Ryan, Aaron Rahsaan Thomas, Danielle Woodrow, Pavan Shetty, Marney Hochman, Justin Lin, and Paul Bernard.

The show seems to have some common roots with the F.X. crime drama The Shield, also created by Ryan. The fifth season was announced in April 2021, and the first episode aired on October 1st of the same year.

The Cast

We expect to see regular faces with Shermar Moore from The Young and the Restless playing Hondo, Lina Esco, Kenny Johnson, Alex Russel, Jay Harrington, David Lim, and Patrick St. Esprit. Director Justin Lin will hold down the fort.

1653080983 306 SWAT Season 6 When Will The Show Premiere In 2022

The Plot

Based on the 1975 series about a SWAT unit in California, it would be expected to bear a somewhat close resemblance while throwing in Ryan’s flare to it in an unspecified city.

Over time, the series has been applauded for how it brings to light the situation between people of color and the police, namely African-Americans. In season 5, we see Hondo still reeling from his heroic choice to do a press talk in Season 4.

He moves to a peaceful Mexican village to gather his pieces back up and regroup his thoughts. While Hondo enjoys a little time off helping Mexicans, his team continues to work tirelessly fighting crime in Los Angeles.

Is It Worth Watching?

Season 5 has had about 4.35 million viewers with a 0.46/18-49. The ratings have risen a whole 11% from the previous season, and there is a 38% up in viewership. The show is a watcher with an overall positive rating, and you should look out for the new season. The show was an immediate hit among crime and action-drama fans.

SWAT is available to stream on Netflix up to Season 4, and we would expect Season 5 to turn up very soon. It is still available on Paramount+. With Season 6 being announced in April 2022, we hope to see the season start airing sometime in October this year, following a similar pattern to the last season.

The show will ideally air on C.B.S. and should be released in an orderly fashion on other streaming services as time progresses. You should look forward to the new season of what is honestly a good series.

The post SWAT Season 6: When Will The Show Premiere In 2022? Is It Worth Waiting? appeared first on Gizmo Story.

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US stocks got close to a bear market. Here’s what that means

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US stocks got close to a bear market. Here’s what that means

By STAN CHOE and ALEX VEIGA

NEW YORK (AP) — The bear came close to Wall Street but then backed off.

The stock market’s slump this year briefly pulled the S&P 500 into what’s known as a bear market Friday, before a late rally put the index in the green. The prevailing sentiment among investors remains negative, however, so the relief may be temporary.

Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine and a slowdown in China’s economy have caused investors to reconsider the prices they’re willing to pay for a wide range of stocks, from high-flying tech companies to traditional automakers. Big swings such as the one seen Friday have been commonplace.

The last bear market happened just two years ago, but this would still be a first for those investors that got their start trading on their phones during the pandemic. For years, thanks in large part to extraordinary actions by the Federal Reserve, stocks often seemed to go in only one direction: up. Now, the familiar rallying cry to “buy the dip” after every market wobble is giving way to fear that the dip is turning into a crater.

Here are some common questions asked about bear markets:

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WHY IS IT CALLED A BEAR MARKET?

A bear market is a term used by Wall Street when an index like the S&P 500, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, or even an individual stock, has fallen 20% or more from a recent high for a sustained period of time.

Why use a bear to represent a market slump? Bears hibernate, so bears represent a market that’s retreating, said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA. In contrast, Wall Street’s nickname for a surging stock market is a bull market, because bulls charge, Stovall said.

The S&P 500 index, Wall Street’s main barometer of health, rose less than 1 point Friday, leaving it 18.7% below its high set on Jan. 3. The Nasdaq is already in a bear market, down 29.3% from its peak of 16,057.44 on Nov. 19. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is about 15% below its most-recent peak.

The most recent bear market for the S&P 500 ran from February 19, 2020 through March 23, 2020. The index fell 34% in that one-month period. It’s the shortest bear market ever.

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WHAT’S BOTHERING INVESTORS?

Market enemy No. 1 is interest rates, which are rising quickly as a result of the high inflation battering the economy. Low rates act like steroids for stocks and other investments, and Wall Street is now going through withdrawal.

The Federal Reserve has made an aggressive pivot away from propping up financial markets and the economy with record-low rates and is focused on fighting inflation. The central bank has already raised its key short-term interest rate from its record low near zero, which had encouraged investors to move their money into riskier assets like stocks or cryptocurrencies to get better returns.

Earlier this month, the Fed signaled additional rate increases of double the usual amount are likely in upcoming months. Consumer prices are at the highest level in four decades, and rose 8.3% in April compared with a year ago.

The moves by design will slow the economy by making it more expensive to borrow. The risk is the Fed could cause a recession if it raises rates too high or too quickly.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has also put upward pressure on inflation by pushing up commodities prices. And worries about China’s economy, the world’s second largest, have added to the gloom.

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SO, WE JUST NEED TO AVOID A RECESSION?

Even if the Fed can pull off the delicate task of tamping down inflation without triggering a downturn, higher interest rates still put downward pressure on stocks.

If customers are paying more to borrow money, they can’t buy as much stuff, so less revenue flows to a company’s bottom line. Stocks tend to track profits over time. Higher rates also make investors less willing to pay elevated prices for stocks, which are riskier than bonds, when bonds are suddenly paying more in interest thanks to the Fed.

Critics said the overall stock market came into the year looking pricey versus history. Big technology stocks and other winners of the pandemic were seen as the most expensive, and those stocks have been the most punished as rates have risen. But the pain is spreading widely, with shares of Target and other retailers slumping hard this week after reporting weaker-than-expected profits.

Stocks have declined almost 35% on average when a bear market coincides with a recession, compared with a nearly 24% drop when the economy avoids a recession, according to Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial.

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SO I SHOULD SELL EVERYTHING NOW, RIGHT?

If you need the money now or want to lock in the losses, yes. Otherwise, many advisers suggest riding through the ups and downs while remembering the swings are the price of admission for the stronger returns that stocks have provided over the long term.

While dumping stocks would stop the bleeding, it would also prevent any potential gains. Many of the best days for Wall Street have occurred either during a bear market or just after the end of one. That includes two separate days in the middle of the 2007-2009 bear market where the S&P 500 surged roughly 11%, as well as leaps of better than 9% during and shortly after the roughly monthlong 2020 bear market.

Advisers suggest putting money into stocks only if it won’t be needed for several years. The S&P 500 has come back from every one of its prior bear markets to eventually rise to another all-time high.

The down decade for the stock market following the 2000 bursting of the dot-com bubble was a notoriously brutal stretch, but stocks have often been able to regain their highs within a few years.

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HOW LONG DO BEAR MARKETS LAST AND HOW DEEP DO THEY GO?

On average, bear markets have taken 13 months to go from peak to trough and 27 months to get back to breakeven since World War II. The S&P 500 index has fallen an average of 33% during bear markets in that time. The biggest decline since 1945 occurred in the 2007-2009 bear market when the S&P 500 fell 57%.

History shows that the faster an index enters into a bear market, the shallower they tend to be. Historically, stocks have taken 251 days (8.3 months) to fall into a bear market. When the S&P 500 has fallen 20% at a faster clip, the index has averaged a loss of 28%.

The longest bear market lasted 61 months and ended in March 1942 and cut the index by 60%.

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HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN A BEAR MARKET HAS ENDED?

Generally, investors look for a 20% gain from a low point as well as sustained gains over at least a six-month period. It took less than three weeks for stocks to rise 20% from their low in March 2020.

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Veiga reported from Los Angeles. __ Follow more of AP’s business coverage at

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