There a few distinct differences between how most mac and cheese is made and Southern mac and cheese. Most notably is that eggs are added to the Southern version as a thickener, instead of a regular butter and flour roux.
As my husband is from the South, he never really loved my original recipe with a flour and butter base because it is not what he grew up with. I've been trying for several years to get a Southern version right, and this one is just cheesy deliciousness.
Southern Mac and Cheese
1 lb box elbow macaroni
2 c milk
1/4 c diced yellow onion
2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (reserve 3/4 cup of this for topping)
1/2 c monterey jack cheese, shredded
1/2 c muenster cheese, shredded
1 TSBP Frank's hot sauce
1 TSBP Kosher salt
2 tsp ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 2 TSBP salt to water and add macaroni. Cook according to package directions, about 8 minutes. While pasta is boiling, in a separate bowl, whisk together milk, onion, salt, pepper, hot sauce, and eggs. Whisk until everything is well incorporated. Drain pasta once it is done cooking, and run it under cold water until pasta is cooled completely. This is a very important step, otherwise you will have scrambled eggs, not creamy mac and cheese. Once pasta has been cooled completely, add it to a greased 9X13 inch pan. Mix the cheeses into the pasta, (except for reserved 3/4 c cheddar for the topping). Pour the egg milk mixture over the pasta and stir. Sprinkle the remaining cheddar over the top of the pasta. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until top is bubbling and browned. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes before serving.