For the shrimp: Peel the shrimp and save the shells for stock. In a 4-quart pot over medium heat, add oil. Add the tomatoes, onions, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeno and cook until they begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and pepper, lime juice, and reserved shrimp shells and stir. Add the water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour the stock through a strainer into a bowl or another pot. Discard the vegetables and shells and reheat the stock. Add the shrimp and simmer until just cooked, about 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat, strain and refrigerate the stock, and the shrimp separately until chilled, about 1 hour.
In a bowl, combine chilled shrimp, pico de gallo, shrimp stock, cocktail sauce and avocado; mix gently. For each serving, place a lettuce leaf in a pretty bowl or a martini glass. Spoon in the shrimp mixture, allowing about 9 or 10 shrimp per serving. Garnish each shrimp cocktail with a lime wedge and a few tortilla chips.
*Cook's Note: Pico de gallo is a very simple fresh salsa made by finely chopping fresh tomato, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno. Season the mixture with some fresh lime juice and salt, to taste. Any recipe or a commercial fresh salsa is fine.
This recipe was provided by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.
Recipe courtesy of Tony Mandola, Tony Mandola's Gulf Coast Kitchen, Houston