Maria O'Hara, Deerfield Beach

Baker bio: Growing up in Mexico, O'Hara, 45, ate lots of empanadas. But they were filled with chicken or beef, tuna or a combination of cheese and poblanos. Her husband is a fan of spicy food, so she's often creating special dishes she knows he¿ll like including empanadas. O'Hara, kitchen manager at Oceans 234 restaurant in Deerfield Beach, says her dessert empanada is a tribute to Thanksgiving, which she adores since coming to the United States six years ago. The recipe: Apple cranberry empanadas Why it's so good: This Thanksgiving recipe exemplifies South Florida's culinary mosaic. Store-bought empanada dough is filled with typical American fall fruits. It's served with drizzle of caramel and or ice cream for a bit of extra richness.
Ginny Dixon, Correspondent.
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