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If it doesn't show up in File>Recent then try this:
Search your system for all files that end in .LRCAT. You should have one with a recent creation date (possibly today). Double click it to launch it.
I am not surprised it isn't in the Open Recent. That can happen with a power-loss induced crash. You will need to conduct a hard drive search for LRCAT files in hopes you can find your most recent good file. Or, you can resort to your backups.
The LR - preferences vanished, but it created a new LR 5 Catalog in the root catalog folder, and reset all preferences, earlier the LR catalog was in a diff directory. Switched to the same and recovered all.