4 large or 6 to 8 small to medium servings


  • About 1½ cups grated Parmesan or Romano or Asiago cheese, or fine breadcrumbs,
  •   or flour, or a combination, or as needed
  • ½ teaspoon seafood seasoning or Italian or dried Italian herbs (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • About 3 to 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or other cooking oil (corn, canola, or safflower oil)
  •   or as needed (see note)
  • 1½ to 2 pounds catfish nuggets
  • Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper to taste (optional)
  • Paprika as desired (optional)
  • Picante Tomato Salsa and/or Honey Mustard Sauce, or Hot Plum or
  •   Raspberry Sauce or favorite salsa or honey mustard or other mustard or desired commercial sauce
  • Sprigs of fresh cilantro, oregano, thyme, and basil or sprigs of fresh cilantro for garnish 

In a medium bowl, combine the first 3 to 4 ingredients, mixing well.  Lightly brush or spray catfish nuggets with olive oil.  Roll each nugget in cheese mixture, coating each piece well.  Place catfish nuggets in a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan lightly coated with non-caloric vegetable cooking spray or olive oil-flavored non-caloric vegetable cooking spray.  Bake in a preheated slow oven (325 degrees F.) for 20 to 25 minutes or until catfish nuggets are golden brown and crispy and flake easily with a fork.  When catfish nuggets begin to brown, may sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, if desired. 


May also sauté catfish nuggets in a medium to large heavy skillet lightly coated with extra virgin olive oil or other cooking oil or non-caloric vegetable cooking spray over moderate heat for about 15 minutes, turning frequently, until nuggets are golden brown, crispy, and flake easily with a fork, if desired.


Prepare desired sauces.  Just before serving, may sprinkle nuggets with paprika, if desired.  Garnish catfish nuggets with sprigs of fresh cilantro or oregano or thyme or basil, or a combination, if desired.  Accompany with desired sauce(s) for dipping catfish nuggets. 



Picante Tomato Salsa

about 3 cups

  • 1 to 4 fresh jalapeno or serrano peppers, thinly sliced or minced (see note)
  • 1 firm ripe medium to large tomato, cored and coarsely chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 4 to 6 green onions, coarsely chopped or thinly sliced (about 1 cup),
  •   or 1 cup coarsely chopped peeled sweet onion (Vidalia or other sweet variety)
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (discard stems) (may leave whole or coarsely snip)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste (optional)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients, mixing gently.  Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.


Note: For a milder tasting relish, use only one pepper.  Removing the seeds also reduces the “heat” factor of the peppers.  Smaller peppers are usually “hotter” than large ones and green ones are also “hotter” than red ones.


Honey Mustard Sauce

about ¾ cup

  • ½ cup prepared yellow or Dijon-style mustard
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons honey
  • ½ teaspoon minced peeled garlic (optional)


In a small bowl, combine mustard, honey, and garlic, blending well.

Variation: Add 1 to 3 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce and/or 1/8 to ¼ teaspoon ground dried ginger to sauce mixture.


Hot Plum or Raspberry Sauce

about 1¾ cups sauce 

  • 1½ cups red plum or seedless red raspberry jam
  • 1½ tablespoons Dijon-style prepared mustard
  • 1½ tablespoons prepared horseradish
  •   or ½ to 1 tablespoon freshly grated peeled horseradish root (optional)

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